Creating a culture of human rights

Old black and white photo of Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in November 1949

Eleanor Roosevelt holds up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in November 1949 © United Nations

For the European Parliament, supporting human rights defenders and generally advancing a culture of human rights is a fundamental part of supporting democracy.

In non-EU countries, Parliament's activities encourage exchanges and networking between MEPs, civil society organisations, parliamentarians and government representatives.

Parliament also helps defenders understand the European Union, the EU institutions, the political environment, and - especially - the European Parliament's role in supporting democracy around the globe. This knowledge helps defenders better target their advocacy work.

Both sides benefit: human rights defenders also serve as a valuable source of first-hand information for MEPs working on foreign policy, democracy support and human rights.

In addition to organising conferences and study visits, the European Parliament offers customised training for human rights defenders as part of its annual Sakharov Fellowship Programme.

Activities such as film festivals and conferences also promotes human rights defenders and their causes.



Annual Sakharov Fellowship Programme for human rights defenders

One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, April 2018: Women of the Venezuelan Chaos

Conference, March 2018: Networking and advocacy strategies for Human Rights Defenders from Central Asia and South Caucasus

Conference, March 2017: Strengthening Regional Human Rights Defenders' Networks in Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey