Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The declaration sets out a comprehensive common standard for the rights that every person should enjoy, regardless of sex, religion, nationality or other status.

The declaration was made in the form of a General Assembly resolution and is thus not legally binding or enforceable, but some of its provisions are considered to be part of customary international law. The declaration reinforces the underlying principles of human rights and has since its proclamation influenced the writing of constitutions of most democracies.


Nestlé precedent case: Murder of trade unionist Romero in Colombia

Trade unionists

ECCHR filed a criminal complaint against Nestlé and some of its top managers in 2012. The complaint accuses the managers of being in breach of their obligations by failing to prevent crimes of Colombian paramilitary groups and failing to adequately protect trade unionists from these crimes.


The path to justice leads through Europe – e.g. Austria


They survived torture and detention in Syria and fled to Europe, where they now hope to obtain justice. Austrian authorities should follow the example set in Germany, Sweden and France and initiate investigations into systematic torture under Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.


Torture under the Assad regime


The Syrian government led by president Bashar al-Assad is responsible for systematic and widespread torture. ECCHR together with seven Syrian torture survivors as well as the Syrian lawyers al-Bunni and Darwish submitted the first criminal complaint against six high-level officials of the Syrian military intelligence service to the German Federal Prosecutor.


The Rumsfeld torture cases


Between 2004 and 2007, three complaints were filed in Germany and in France against members of the US Government, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the military forces in connection with war crimes, torture and other criminal acts in the military prisons of Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.