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.


Pesticide poisonings in Yavatmal: OECD complaint against Syngenta admitted – Door to mediation open

The Swiss OECD National Contact Point accepted the complaint against agrochemical company Syngenta over alleged pesticide poisonings in the central Indian region of Yavatmal caused by the company’s insecticide Polo. The complaint was filed on behalf of 51 affected families on 17 September 2020 by the Maharashtra Association of Pesticide Poisoned Persons, with support from ECCHR and other organizations.


Faulty Pakistan factory audit: Italian social auditor RINA yet again disregards families harmed by textile factory fire

RINA Services S.p.A. refused to sign mediation agreement

Italian social auditing company RINA Services S.p.A. has refused to take responsibility for the faulty certification of a garment factory in Karachi (Pakistan) in which over 250 people died. Pakistani survivor and labour rights organisations together with European allies had filed a complaint at the Italian OECD National Contact Point in September 2018. After months of mediation, RINA refused to sign the mediation agreement which would have led to payments to the affected families and obliged the company to improve its auditing practices.


Negative decision by the ICC Prosecutor is a severe blow to Iraqi torture victims and international justice

War crimes by UK Forces in Iraq

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague announced its decision to close the preliminary examination of alleged systematic war crimes by British troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. Thousands of allegations of torture, mistreatment and killings were not investigated nor prosecuted by British authorities for over 15 years.


Disappointing decision of the Federal Administrative Court Leipzig

Judgment on Germany’s role in the US drone program

At yesterday’s appeal hearing in the case of “Bin Ali Jaber v. Germany,” the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, Germany, ruled that the diplomatic efforts of the German government with regard to US drone missions in accordance with international law would suffice. In March 2019, the Higher Administrative Court of Münster ruled that Germany must work to ensure that the US comply with international law when using its Ramstein military base, in a case brought by three Yemenis with support from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights whose family members were killed in a US drone attack in August 2012.


Syria trial in Koblenz: Sexual violence must be charged as a crime against humanity

Lawyers for joint plaintiffs demand the indictment be reassessed

Cases of sexual violence in Syria are not isolated incidents, they are systematically used to oppress the opposition. This must be acknowledged in the world’s first trial on Syrian state torture currently taking place in Koblenz, Germany. Patrick Kroker and Sebastian Scharmer, lawyers representing joint plaintiffs in the al-Khatib trial, have therefore requested today that the systematic use of sexual violence against the civilian population in Syria should be prosecuted as a crime against humanity.

Press Contact

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu