Our vision: A peaceful and safe world, with freedom and justice for all.

Civil Rights Defenders is an international human rights organisation that defends civil and political rights and strengthens human rights defenders at risk.


At Civil Rights Defenders we believe that innovation is key to empower human rights defenders. At the Innovation Initiative the goal is to identify new solutions to strengthen human rights defenders. With Civil Rights Defenders active on four continents, and through our vast network of partners, together we have knowledge about the challenges facing human rights defenders. Using our defender-centric approach, we aim to solve these issues together with the human rights defenders that knows them best.


Civil Rights Defenders' Innovation Initiative work is designed to directly address the unique concerns of Human Rights Defenders the world over. We have one of the closest working relationships with activists of any innovation group and everything we design and develop is with their interests at heart.

A Defender-Centric World

Why we innovate:


We innovate because human rights defenders in the world today are fighting against a wave of continuously evolving authoritarianism. If we do not innovate then we will surely be overwhelmed by the new technologies that are being employed in the name of surveillance and control. 



To improve the security of Human Rights Defenders in their context.



To empower human rights defenders to increase their impact on civil and political rights.



To ensure that the work of human rights defenders can continue long into the future



Civil Rights Defenders was founded as the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in 1982 with the purpose of monitoring compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Final Act. 

The Helsinki Movement inspired citizens in Europe and the United States to come together and form non-governmental organisations that held their governments accountable and advocated for respect for human rights. The Helsinki Movement eventually grew to include more than 40 organisations.

In 2009, the organisation was renamed Civil Rights Defenders. The mission became to support local human rights defenders in the world’s most repressive regions, and to be Sweden’s local civil rights watchdog group.

Natalia Project

Protecting Those Who Fight  for Our Rights 

The  Natalia Project  is unique as  it is a simple tool with the ability to raise an alarm instantly, in order to help mitigate the harm and disappearance of human rights defenders around the world. 

Head Office


Civil Rights Defenders

Sergels torg 12, 12th floor

SE-111 57 Stockholm




+46 (0)8 545 277 30