The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is an independent regional non-governmental organization founded in 1994. It aims at promoting respect for principles of human rights and democracy, analyzing the difficulties facing the application of International Human Rights Law and disseminating Human Rights Culture in the Arab Region. CIHRS enjoys consultative status in the United Nations ECOSOC, and observer status in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. CIHRS is also a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
The CIHRS aims at enhancing the capacity of Arab societies to achieve democratization. To accomplish this goal CIHRS conducts detailed analyses and studies on the problems of managing the process of democratization. These studies focus on the appropriate strategies and priorities for legal and political reform in the Arab world, including the improvement and enhancement of the following areas: freedom of association, freedom of expression, media freedoms, judicial independence, free and fair elections and women’s rights. In addition, CIHRS utilizes relevant democratization experiences form around the world with a comparative analysis framework in order to learn about and promote the democratization processes in the Arab Region.
Human Rights Education
The CIHRS also endeavors to promote human rights education, and develop ways and methods to disseminate the universal values of human rights. To achieve these aims CIHRS campaigns for the integration of human rights values and principles into academic curricula, and by conducting training courses and workshops for various sectors of society, with a special emphasis on youth. These courses are designed to provide participants with a basic knowledge of human rights, as well as skills concerning their promotion and use, including capacities building for human rights defenders.
Conflicts and Human Rights
The CIHRS lays special emphasis on conflicts related issues including: the protection and application of International Humanitarian Law, the application of human rights in conflict resolution; the relation of human rights to terrorism/counter-terrorism, and transitional justice.
Arab Culture and Human Rights
By examining specific cultural issues as they relate to the universal principles of human rights, CIHRS attempts to find and promote creative approaches to solve potential and perceived incongruities between the two. CIHRS strives to perform this task in a way that neither sacrifices the universality of human rights nor denies the existence of particular cultural norms and attitudes in the region.
- Developing and proposing policies, including legislative and constitutional alternatives conducive to the improvement of the human rights situation in the Arab region and promoting them among different stake holders;
- Conducting educational and capacity-building courses in the field of democracy and human rights;
- Disseminating information and raising awareness of human rights values and issues through reports, theoretical and field studies, analyses, periodicals and different human rights publications;
- Engaging in dialogue with different political, civil and human rights actors over issues of democratization and human rights;
- Using different international, regional and national mechanisms to raise human rights issues in the Arab region.