Central to our work is the strategic use of international human rights mechanisms as a means to tackle human rights abuse. Of particular importance is our European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) caseload. We have brought cases on behalf of hundreds of victims and survivors of extra-judicial killings, ‘disappearances’, torture, unfair trials, censorship and other human rights abuses. This allows us not only to secure redress for victims and their families, but also to create a culture of compliance among authorities and awareness among communities of their human rights under international law. We also remain in constant contact with the United Nations, sending them communications on issues of concern in the regions, particularly areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of the ECtHR.
In 2010 we:
- Submitted nine full applications to the ECtHR, including Gafur and Others v Turkey, a second cross-border case to be filed at the Court, in which 45 applicants from a single village are represented, highlighting the vast devastation brought by the unchecked actions of a Council of Europe member state
- Received favourable ECtHR judgements in six cases involving freedom from torture, freedom of assembly and the right to a fair trial against Armenian authorities
- Sought remedies for over 100 victims and survivors of human rights abuse though urgent action appeals to UN Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs on behalf of Kurdish civilians, political activists and teachers, who at the hands of the authorities have been disappeared, arbitrarily detained, tortured or face(d) execution
- Assisted and advised over 100 potential applicants, lawyers and NGOs both within the Kurdish Regions and in London
- Continued to highlight human rights violations in submissions to international bodies, including the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group; the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.