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.


Six years of human rights violations: Croatia to receive the Schengen award

Croatia's Schengen accession is on the agenda of today’s meeting of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council. If ministers vote in favor, it will be despite ample evidence of systematic human rights violations at Croatia’s borders, as well as breaches of the Schengen aquis itself.


Interceptions at sea and returns of migrants and refugees to Libya constitute a crime against humanity

The Hague must investigate the responsibility of EU officials

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), with the support of Sea-Watch, has filed a Communication to the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning the commission of crimes against humanity against migrants and refugees who have been intercepted at sea and systematically returned to and detained in Libya. The organizations are urging the ICC to investigate the individual criminal responsibility of high-ranking officials of EU member states and EU agencies regarding multiple severe deprivations of liberty that began with interceptions at sea between 2018 and 2021. Alleged co-perpetrators include high level European politicians such as the former Italian Interior Ministers, Marco Minniti and Matteo Salvini, the current and former Prime Ministers of Malta Robert Abela and Joseph Muscat, the former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the former Executive Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri as well as Italian and Maltese Rescue Coordination Centers members and EUNAV FOR MED and the European External Action Service (EEAS) officials.


Crucial hearing in Rome on 20 December 2022

Italy’s last opportunity to bring justice to victims of airstrike with Italian arms in Yemen

In 2016, the Saudi/UAE-led military coalition allegedly killed a family of six in an airstrike in the village of Deir Al-Hajari in Northwest Yemen. The bomb remnants found at the site of the attack were manufactured by RWM Italia S.p.A., a subsidiary of the German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall AG. In April 2018, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), together with its Yemen-based partner Mwatana for Human Rights and Italian-based Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo, submitted a criminal complaint against managers of RWM Italia and senior officials of Italy’s National Authority for the Export of Armament (UAMA). 


Supply Chain Act – Finally German brands have to take care for workers` lives

Human rights organizations threaten to complain about textile companies neglecting safety in factories

Today, November 24, 2022, marks the tenth anniversary of the Tazreen fire that killed over 110 textile workers in Bangladesh. Exactly six months later, more than 1,100 people sewing clothes for international fashion companies died in the rubble of Rana Plaza. The "Accord for Building Safety and Fire Prevention in Bangladesh" (Bangladesh Accord) was a response to these tragedies and has been successful in preventing such preventable disasters in the garment industry where all other programs have failed. The Bangladesh Accord is considered the most successful mechanism for improving workplace safety in the world. Yet, to date, some leading companies that have production in Bangladesh have not signed the Bangladesh Accord or its successor - the International Accord, which envisions extending the Accord to other countries such as Pakistan.


World climate summit COP27 in Egypt

Climate change conference as last chance – Also for the Indonesian island of Pari

Climate change is advancing ever more rapidly and unleashing its destructive consequences, especially for people in the countries of the Global South. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), beginning on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheik, could be the last chance to turn the tide. The inhabitants of Pari island have already taken action: they are demanding climate justice and have thus initiated legal proceedings against the Swiss cement corporation Holcim. They are demanding, among other things, compensation for climate damage already suffered – an issue that also stands at the top of the agenda at COP27.

Press Contact

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797
M: presse@ecchr.eu