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KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

2004 Annual Report - Page 3
Article Index
2004 Annual Report
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The Role of the Kurdish Human Rights Project


In 1992, KHRP was established in response to the growing need for an independent, non-governmental human rights organisation focusing on the rights of all persons in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and elsewhere, irrespective of race, religion, sex, political persuasion or other belief or opinion.

These states, encompassing the Kurdish regions and forming the crossroads between East and West, are bound by numerous international laws regarding the respect of human rights. Yet, they have been the scenes of some of the worst human rights violations in the twentieth century and onwards; often combined with the failure of the international community to bring governments in the regions to account for their human rights abuses.

KHRP was borne out of a desire to utilise the international mechanisms available to victims of human rights violations; to make accountable the perpetrators and prevent further abuses in future.

Today, KHRP has earned international recognition for its tireless work to promote and protect human rights in the regions. Its victories have established precedents which have changed the lives of millions of people, securing justice and redress for past abuses and preventing further abuses from recurring. KHRP employs seven permanent members of staff in England and Turkey. Its office is located in the UK, where it is not subject to the intimidation and censorship faced by regional nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). KHRP is both a registered charity and limited company, and is funded through charitable trusts and donations.

The Board of Trustees and Executive Director are responsible for the management and policy development of the organisation's core projects.

Working as a project-based organisation allows KHRP to respond flexibly to situations of immediate concern. Nevertheless, where there is a particularly grave or imminent threat to the protection of human rights, KHRP implements additional 'special projects' to enable it to provide dedicated resources to that threat.

All of KHRP's projects are closely integrated and interrelated. Much of this work is carried out by our professional staff at the KHRP offices in London, which is directly involved in the implementation of projects from the initial planning and preparation through to their final evaluation stage. We also rely on interns and volunteers who provide our staff with invaluable research and casework assistance as well as support in the practical running of our office's activities.

KHRP's Human Rights Advocacy & Training project provides legal advice and assistance to a large number of individuals in the Kurdish regions who are complaining that their rights under international human rights law have been violated. KHRP carries out preliminary case preparation, and the drafting and pleading of cases, both orally and in writing, before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, as well as the submission of complaints to UN mechanisms. This also involves attending hearings in Strasbourg and Turkey, and co-ordinating the caseload of KHRP's Legal Team comprising lawyers in the UK, Turkey and elsewhere.

The Fact-Finding and Trial Observation Missions Project plays an essential part in KHRP's programme to monitor human rights abuses in the Kurdish regions and to help to press for the rule of law and a wider democratic platform for discussion there. It involves the preparation of and participation in missions in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and elsewhere. The missions observe trials in the regions to monitor domestic adherence to the rule of law and due process. Through its additional interviews with appropriate government offi cials, members of the judiciary, local NGOs, human rights defenders and individuals, together with its observation of trials and knowledge of international legal standards, KHRP is enabled to form a concrete and up-to-date assessment of the human rights situation on the ground.

The Research & Publications Project involves carrying out in-house or commissioned research which is disseminated through the publication of reports. These are intended to supply relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations and interested individuals with a sound factual base about and recommendations as to improving the human rights situation in the regions.

KHRP employs a wide range of tools in sharing information, building capacity and raising public awareness of human rights abuses and consequently in adding pressure on governments to reform. Through the Public Awareness, Education and Communication Initiatives Project, KHRP keeps informed governmental and intergovernmental bodies, press and broadcast media, civil society organisations, academic institutions and supporters regularly updated about its work and key issues regarding human rights. Through production of a newsletter, maintenance of an award-winning website, attendance at international conferences and events and liaising with media, KHRP ensures that international awareness of the situation in the Kurdish regions is maintained and developed.