What we do

Our geographic and thematic priorities

Our geographic mandate covers the 22 Member States of the Arab League. Among those, we focus on countries where we believe our work has the most added value, considering our capacities and strategic impact.

We focus primarily on violations of civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and security of person, due process and fair trial rights, freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association. We believe that these must be protected above all, as a sine qua non condition for people to be able to claim all their other rights without fear of reprisals.

As such, our thematic priorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Accountability and the right to truth
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Business and human rights
  • Counterterrorism and human rights
  • Enforced disappearances
  • Extrajudicial executions
  • Freedom of opinion and expression (online and offline)
  • Freedom of peaceful assembly and association
  • Practice of torture

How we work

Our work is based on an evolving range of advocacy strategies using the most effective means of leverage. We adopt a collaborative approach to our work, by engaging closely with national and international civil society actors, to ensure complementarity.

Documentation and monitoring

In close cooperation with local actors, victims of human rights violations, their families, lawyers, human rights defenders and civil society, we monitor the human rights situation on the ground, document individual cases, identify patterns of violations and analyse their structural causes.

Litigation

We represent individuals subjected to severe human rights violations before international protection mechanisms. Most notably, we resort to the United Nations human rights bodies, including Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies. We may also engage with regional and domestic mechanisms, when effective and accessible.

When assisting individuals, we respect confidentiality and only act if we have obtained direct informed consent from the victim, their family or lawyer. We strive to act in the victim’s best interest, while respecting their wishes. Cases are only publicised after we have obtained the victim’s or the family’s approval.

Analysis and reporting

Based on thorough research and monitoring, we produce reports, briefs and research papers to bring issues to the attention of relevant stakeholders, with a view to advocating for legal and policy reform. When relevant, we directly lobby local law- and policy-makers and engage with various international and regional institutions, foreign governments, and businesses.

We bring a civil society perspective in the assessment of states’ compliance with their human rights obligations by the UN mechanisms, while expanding the access of our local partners to these mechanisms.

Awareness raising

We raise awareness on human rights issues among a wide and diverse audience by publishing reports, engaging on social media, and taking part in public debates and conferences.

We highlight victims’ stories by publicising and sharing their cases on our website and social media channels, thus bringing their situation to the attention of the general public within and outside the MENA region.

Capacity building

Bringing our legal expertise and experience, we provide training and lectures for, among others, human rights defenders, practitioners and university students.

We provide technical support to local civil societies to access UN human rights mechanisms and enhance their understanding of international human rights law.

Assessing national human rights institutions

We believe that effective and accessible national human rights institutions (NHRIs) are key to ensuring the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms at the national level.

Jointly with local partners, we assess their work, independence and efficiency. Through evaluation reports, we contribute to their review by the Subcommittee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.