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Promotion and protection of human rights

The German Institute for Human Rights is Germany’s independent National Human Rights Institution (Section 1 of the Act on the Legal Status and Mandate of the German Institute for Human Rights, DIMR-Gesetz). It strives to ensure that Germany respects and promotes human rights domestically and in its international relations. The Institute also supports and monitors the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has established Monitoring Mechanisms for these purposes.

Research and advice

The Institute carries out interdisciplinary and application-oriented research on human rights issues and monitors the human rights situation in Germany. It advises political decision-makers at the federal and states (Länder) levels, as well as courts, the legal profession, the business sector, and civil society, on matters relating to the implementation of international human rights conventions. The Institute reports to the German Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) and prepares submissions to international and domestic courts as well as international human rights bodies. It supports the efforts of stakeholders in the sphere of education to anchor human rights in education and training programmes for human rights-sensitive occupations and to design human rights education for use in and outside of schools.

The Institute also sees itself as a forum for exchange between government and civil society, research and practice, national and international actors. The Institute collaborates closely with the human rights bodies of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the European Union.

Information and documentation

The Institute’s public library offers access to the latest research publications and human rights journals. It holds the largest stock of human rights education materials in Germany. With a multitude of online and social media offers, the Institute provides information on human rights topics and documents the most important human rights treaties, as well as reports on their implementation in Germany. 

Independence and sole commitment to human rights

As a politically independent body, the Institute is committed solely to human rights. As a National Human Rights Institution, its work is based on the Paris Principles of the United Nations. The Act on the Legal Status and Mandate of the German Institute for Human Rights of 2015 guarantees the Institute’s legal status, mandate, and funding. The Institute is structured as a non-profit association and obtains its funding from the German Bundestag, along with external source funding for individual projects. Its Board of Trustees, with members representing civil society, academia, and the political arena, define the guidelines for its substantive work.


Act on the Legal Status and Mandate of the German Institute for Human Rights, DIMR-Gesetz (PDF, 63 KB, not barrier free, in German) 

A detailed description of the Institute's role can be found in the Institute's statutes.


The German Institute for Human Rights was established in March 2001 on the recommendation of the German Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag).

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Human rights violations on an individual level

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.