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).

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 together with other international human rights lawyers, in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions, through legal means.

Together with affected persons and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity of those responsible for torture, war crimes, sexualized violence, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.


ECCHR mourns the death of Lúcio Bellentani, former Volkswagen employee and torture survivor

With great sadness, we have heard of Lúcio Bellentani’s death. Bellentani was a former employee of Volkswagen do Brasil and a trade unionist. We offer our deepest sympathies to his family as well as his allies in the Asocia ção Heinrich Plagge.


Factory fire lawsuit shows: Germany needs major law reform on corporate liability

Appeals court refuses legal aid in KiK case

The Higher Regional Court in Hamm, Germany, has rejected the Pakistani claimaints’ application for legal aid in the proceedings concerning a fire at a textile factory in Pakistan. The four claimants took their case to court in Germany to determine the share of responsibility borne by the clothing company for inadequate fire safety measures leading to the deaths of 258 workers.


Swedish War Crimes Unit interviews Syrian torture survivors

Torture under Assad: Fighting impunity with universal jurisdiction laws

Swedish prosecution authorities responded promptly to the first criminal complaint filed in Sweden on torture in Syria. Since April, four of altogether nine Syrian plaintiffs – all of them torture survivors now residing in Sweden – gave witness evidence to the War Crimes Unit. On 19 February 2019, these Syrian women and men had submitted a criminal complaint under the principle of universal jurisdiction against senior officials in Bashar al-Assad's government.


Colonia Dignidad: Vertrauen der Betroffenen in deutsche Justiz erschüttert

Press Statement

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Krefeld hat am 6. Mai 2019 die Ermittlungen gegen Hartmut Hopp, ehemals Arzt der deutschen Sektensiedlung Colonia Dignidad in Chile, eingestellt. Diese Entscheidung reiht sich ein in die jahrelange Tatenlosigkeit der deutschen Justiz. Etliche Betroffene und Zeugen der Verbrechen in der Colonia Dignidad sind bereit auszusagen, etwa zur Rolle von Hopp bei Folter und Mord an Gegner des Pinochet-Regimes. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hat sie schlicht ignoriert. Die Betroffenen sind fassungslos, ihr Vertrauen in die deutsche Justiz ist erschüttert. Gemeinsam mit der Rechtsanwältin Petra Schlagenhauf und dem ECCHR prüfen sie eine Beschwerde.


Open Letter: Genocide of the Herero and Nama

Press Contact

Anabel Bermejo
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu