The German Institute for Human Rights is a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in compliance with the "Paris Principles" of the United Nations (status A). Apart from promoting human rights education, the Institute promotes the implementation of international and European human rights norms and mechanisms in Germany.
The Institute was founded on March 8, 2001, following a unanimous decision by the German Federal Parliament on December 7, 2000 to establish a German Institute for Human Rights.
In its decision to establish the Institute, the German Federal Parliament refers to the UN "Paris Principles" of 1993, recommending the establishment of NHRIs. The International Coordination Committee of NHRIs certified the German Institute for Human Rights as consistent with the UN "Paris Principles", most recently in 2016.
The German Institute for Human Rights is an autonomous NHRI, initiated by and established as part of civil society. It is neither a non-governmental organization nor a junior governmental agency. As a non-profit association, the Institute is politically impartial and acts on its own initiative.
The German Institute for Human Rights is federally funded. It is financed by the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The Board of Directors of the Institute is composed of Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf, Director, and Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director. The Board of Trustees, composed of members representing civil society, academia, the media and politics, decides the framework and sets thematic priorities for the Institute.
The Institute promotes and protects human rights by
The institute analyzes issues of racism and discrimination, human rights aspects of migration, integration and the fight against terrorism. We evaluate security issues on a national and European level and promote a human rights discussion of the constitutional state. Another focus of the institute's work is on economic, social and cultural rights in Germany. The institute contributes to the implementation of a rights-based approach in development cooperation. Further, the institute is the National monitoring body for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The German Institute for Human Rights deals with issues of human rights protection in Germany, within the European Union and the Council of Europe. Only sporadically are international human rights aspects clarified by drawing upon specific countries.
A vital task of the German Institute for Human Rights is human rights education within Germany. We offer continuing education for lines of work dealing with human rights like the police, social work and nursing services. Further, we develop training materials and human rights education curricula for teachers within and outside of schools and host seminars to increase the use and proliferation of human rights teaching materials.
The Institute hosts expert panels and public discussions and publishes studies and essays. The communication department communicates its human rights positions and the Institute hosts an academic human rights library.
The German Institute for Human Rights offers expertise to representatives of the German federal parliament, government and the governmental departments. It forms public opinions on questions of human rights protection and contributes to the implementation of human rights treaties in Germany. The Institute offers a forum for the exchange of ideas and information between delegates of governmental institutions and representatives of non-governmental institutions on human rights advancement and protection.
The German Institute for Human Rights maintains a prolific dialogue to non-governmental human rights organizations and occasionally cooperates in hosting seminars, expert panels or conferences.
The German Institute for Human Rights has no mandate to deal with human rights violations on an individual level. When contacted with individual cases, we try our best to refer to specific help lines and special services.