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.


5 years of war in Yemen and Europe's responsibility

Arms exports to Saudi Arabia

On 26 March 2015, the armed conflict in Yemen escalated when a Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-led military coalition started a bombing campaign in support of the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Europe plays a part in this – some countries and corporations even profit from the war by manufacturing or supplying weapons to countries conducting attacks in Yemen.


First trial worldwide about state torture in Syria to open in Germany

More arrest warrants and prosecutions must follow

Today, the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany, announced the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria will begin on 23 April. In using the principle of universal jurisdiction, the German judiciary is sending an important signal to survivors and those affected by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s system of torture and oppression. The main defendant is Anwar R., a former official at the General Intelligence Directorate. ECCHR supports 16 Syrian torture survivors in the proceedings.


Kunduz airstrike: Germany must answer to the European Court of Human Rights

Landmark case on military operations abroad

“Germany must finally take responsibility for the bombing in Kunduz. I am glad that the court is hearing the case about the killing of my two boys. I expect justice – not only for me, but for many other families,” said Abdul Hanan from Afghanistan about today’s hearing before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. Hanan lost two sons, Nesarullah (8) and Abdul Bayan (12), in the airstrike on 4 September 2009 in northeastern Afghanistan, ordered by German colonel Georg Klein.


Joint civil society response

Release of European Commission study into supply chain due diligence

Neun zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen, darunter das ECCHR, begrüßen die Studie der Europäischen Kommission zu menschenrechtlichen Sorgfaltspflichten in Lieferketten. Die Studie bestätigt, dass freiwillige Maßnahmen zu oft versagen und dass Regulierungen auf EU-Ebene nötig sind, um Arbeiter*innen, Gemeinschaften und die Umwelt zu schützen.


Strasbourg shamelessly gives green light to push-backs at Europe's borders

The ECtHR’s Grand Chamber dismisses case against Spain’s “hot returns”

No rights at the border, too many hurdles in court. ND* and NT* were handcuffed and immediately expelled through Melilla’s fence structure from Spain to Morocco. No one asked who they were or why they were there. They were given no due process, nor the opportunity to challenge their expulsion. The same happened to at least 70 other individuals on August 13, 2014. These summary, violent and unlawful push-backs are documented in several videos, photos and testimonies. Yet, in today’s judgment, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg dismissed ND and NT v. Spain.

Press Contact

Anabel Bermejo
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu