Published: 31 Dec 2018
Annual Report 2018
In 2018, EHRAC celebrated our 15th anniversary, which provided an important moment for reflection on all that we have achieved since our inception. We started as a team of two, supported by pro bono lawyers, volunteer translators and interns, some of whom went on to become our staff members. At that time, our litigation, with our first partner, Memorial Human Rights Centre, focused on the egregious abuses arising during and after the conflict in Chechnya.
15 years later, we are a team of 12, collaborating with 15 partner NGOs and individual lawyers in five countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine). We have won over 160 cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), securing a significant measure of justice for over 1000 victims of abuse. Our litigation spans significant themes across the region including human rights in conflict, protest rights, torture and extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, violence against women, LGBT+ rights, protection of human rights defenders and religious discrimination. With our partners, we have litigated some of the most significant human rights cases from the region, representing the victims of the 2004 Beslan School Siege, the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia, the 2017 police raids on LGBT+ individuals in Baku, and the 1st March 2008 violent dispersal of protests in Yerevan.
We have also litigated on behalf of Russian NGOs affected by the ‘foreign agents law’, members of the banned Crimean Tatar representative body, the Mejlis, and high-profile human rights defenders and journalists, such as Leyla and Arif Yunus, Khadija Ismayil, Intigam Aliyev and Rasul Jafarov. While our core mission of securing justice for victims of abuse through strengthening the skills of human rights defenders and lawyers is unchanged, we continue to seek new approaches to achieve redress and ensure compliance with international human rights standards. This year we submitted the first General Allegation to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) about Russia’s persistent failure to investigate hundreds of enforced disappearances, and we are litigating an increasing number of cases before the UN Treaty Bodies.
At this significant moment in EHRAC’s history, we would like to thank not only those who supported us in 2018, but all the volunteers, donors and staff, past and present, who committed their time and funds towards protecting some of the most vulnerable people in Europe.