To counter injustice with legal interventions – this is the aim and daily work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
ECCHR is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by Wolfgang Kaleck and other international human rights lawyers to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other human rights declarations and national constitutions, through legal means.
Together with those affected and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity for those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexual and gender-based violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.
Wind park project in Mexico disregards indigenous peoples’ rights
The energy giant Electricité de France (EDF) plans to build a wind farm on the land of the Mexican indigenous community Unión Hidalgo. The indigenous community has not been appropriately consulted about the use of their land – a clear violation of their rights. This generated major polarization and increased violence against human rights and land rights defenders. Today, representatives of Unión Hidalgo, the Mexican human rights organization ProDESC and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights filed a civil lawsuit in Paris urging EDF to respect Unión Hidalgo’s rights and suspend the Gunaa Sicarú wind park project until the company complies with its vigilance obligation.
For more than 16 years, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has been looking into the situation in Colombia. The recent escalation of violence in the country, increasing attacks on human rights defenders and members of social movements, as well as the government’s persistent inability and unwillingness to genuinely address past human rights violations and other grave crimes committed during and after the Colombian armed conflict show: closing the Preliminary Examination without further investigation into the situation in Colombia would be a devastating sign from the international community.
Companies must be held accountable for human rights violations under criminal and civil law
Read on for a statement by Wolfgang Kaleck, ECCHR general secretary, on the agreement between Volkswagen and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in São Paolo to pay approximately 5.6 million euros to victims of the military dictatorship (1964-85) in Brazil. ECCHR has actively supported the case of the persecuted trade unionists of VW do Brasil since 2017.
Eight years after the fire in the Pakistani textile factory Ali Enterprises, two men have been sentenced to death for arson by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi. They are said to have set the fire because the factory owners refused to pay extortion money. Two hundred and fifty eight people died in the September 2012 fire. German textile company KiK was the factory’s main client. The death penalty in this and any case is a serious human rights violation.
More people affected, more severe damage to health: the cases of poisonings by Syngenta’s Polo* in the Indian region of Yavatmal took place on a far larger scale than previously thought. This is shown by exclusively accessed documents, yet the Basel-based agro-chemical firm still sells its highly toxic product in India. As a result, 51 affected families are filing today a specific complaint at the Swiss OECD National Contact Point.
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