Who we are

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.


100 organisations demand: EU law must put climate and human rights before profits

Civil society organisations and trade unions launch Justice is Everybody's Business campaign in Brussels

No more exploitation, no more environmental destruction, no more bad/unjust business practices by European companies. Those are the demands of the Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign, launched today in Brussels by over 100 civil society and trade union organisations. They ask the EU to issue a strong due diligence law that effectively prevents environmental and human rights violations and holds business accountable.


Sigonella military base: Important step towards transparency

Ministry of Defence obliged to disclose information on Italy’s role in US drone program

After a long legal battle the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) was granted access to documents regulating the presence and operations of US drones at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella in Sicily. On 14 June 2022, the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) in Rome ordered the Ministry of Defense (MoD) to disclose two specific documents from 2010 and 2014. The request was filed by ECCHR under Italy’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in June 2017. Citing procedural obstacles, the TAR repeatedly tried to avoid hearing the case, but the Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di Stato) annulled both the TAR’s rejections and ultimately ordered it to decide on the merits of the case.


Yavatmal pesticides poisonings

Swiss judicial system takes victims' complaints seriously

A Swiss Civil Court in Basel handling three civil actions by one Indian farmer and two wives of deceased Indian farmers has ruled that the court has jurisdiction in the case and granted legal aid to all three plaintiffs to pursue their case in Switzerland against agrochemical company Syngenta.


Groundbreaking climate case against Swiss cement company Holcim

An island demands justice

Climate change is causing sea levels to rise, destroying the livelihoods of the people on the Indonesian island Pari. The Swiss cement company Holcim bears a significant amount of responsibility for this because of its tremendously high CO2 emissions. Four residents are now demanding justice on behalf of the island and have taken legal action against Holcim in Switzerland. With the support of Swiss Church Aid HEKS/EPER, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the Indonesian environmental organization WALHI, they are demanding that Holcim immediately and significantly reduce its CO2 emissions, pay compensation for damages already incurred and co-finance urgently needed flood protection measures. This is the first time that a Swiss company will be held legally accountable for its role in climate change.


Rohingya child challenges Croatia and Slovenia over violent pushbacks

Unaccompanied minor files complaints at UN Child Rights Committee

Child refugee U.F. faced repeated beatings by Croatian border officers, had his belongings burnt and his shoes confiscated before numerous forced expulsions, including a “chain” pushback from Slovenia. He has now submitted complaints against Croatia and Slovenia at the UN Child Rights Committee for multiple violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Press Contact

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu