https://promosaik.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/13.png 303 299 promosaik https://promosaik.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Promosaik_brandwordmark.png promosaik2016-12-30 08:35:182016-12-30 08:35:18Rachel Visscher of NHC Netherlands - provide better support for human rights advocates so that they may advocate without threats
By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. An interview with Rachel Visscher, Communication and Social Media Officer at NHC (Netherlands Helsinki Committee), about the organization she works for. I asked her about the objectives and topics NHC focuses on and about the importance of networking to strengthen human rights and the fight against human rights violations all over the world. NHC’s dream for the future is to improve the policies that affect marginalised and trafficked persons, and to provide better support for human rights advocates so that they may advocate without threats.
|Rachel Visscher- made by Suzanna Kuhuparuw
Milena Rampoldi: What is NHC and what are the main objectives of NHC?
Rachel Visscher: The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is a non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights and strengthens the rule of law and democracy in all countries of Europe, including the Central Asian countries participating in the OSCE. We support human rights NGOs to withstand governmental pressure. Additionally, we work to improve the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments and other international human rights agreements. We take active part in several civil society networks of human rights NGOs and civil in Europe.
Which are the main topics you focus on?
Our work lies primarily in executing projects to strengthen legal protection and improve public policies that affect vulnerable or disadvantaged groups. The main topics of focus are prison reform and probation, strengthening access to justice, human trafficking, supporting civil society and human rights work, and human rights advocacy.
How are you networked all around Europe?
The NHC cooperates with organisations in the countries where the activities are located. In the Netherlands, civil society and professionals, such as lawyers have an essential role. The NHC participates in European NGO networks such as the Civic Solidarity Platform, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, and the EU Fundamental Rights Platform. In the Netherlands, we are a member of the Netherlands Human Rights NGO Platform (BMO). The NHC also cooperates with a range of experts from organisations such as the Netherlands Custodial Institutions Agency (Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen), the Council for the Judiciary (Raad voor de Rechtspraak) and the Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary (SSR). Most funding for NHC projects has come from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the European Commission.
How important is information about human rights violations and why?
Information about human rights violations is very important. Without understanding the fundamental policies and practices that underlie human rights violations, it is not possible to provide support to human rights lawyers and advocates. Additionally, many citizens and activists face threats and governmental pressure, which makes it difficult for them to proactively fight for certain causes. Giving a voice to these issues and individuals allows governments, lawmakers and citizens alike to properly evaluate the issues at hand and to address them appropriately.
In which regions do you work?
The NHC works in all countries in Europe, including the Central Asian countries participating in the OSCE.
What are the main achievements in the history of your organization?
The NHC has completed various projects including workshops for human rights activists and advocates. Additionally, the NHC publishes a Security and Human Rights Journal (SHR). This gives academics, intellectuals, and policy experts the opportunity to shed light on some of the important issues in the field, as well as to offer possible solutions or areas of interest for further research.
What is your dream for the future?
To improve the policies that affect marginalised and trafficked persons, and to provide better support for human rights advocates so that they may advocate without threats.