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WHO WE ARE
Alkarama is a Geneva-based non-governmental human rights organisation established in 2004 to assist all those in the Arab world subjected to or at risk of extrajudicial execution, enforced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary detention. Acting as a bridge between individual victims and international human rights mechanisms, Alkarama works towards an Arab world where all individuals live in freedom and dignity, and are protected by the rule of law. In Arabic, Alkarama means dignity.
WHAT WE DO
Assist victims of human rights violations
Alkarama brings pro bono legal assistance to victims of the most serious human rights violations, without any discrimination. The organisation focuses its efforts on violations of the right to life, human dignity, physical integrity and freedoms such as extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary detention.
Using the international human rights mechanisms and working closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), we document individual cases of violations through direct contact with the victims, their families or lawyers, and submit complaints on their behalf to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, asking them to intervene with the State in question to put an end to these violations.
Alkarama also gives a voice to the victims or their families by sharing their stories, as well as the recommendations issued by the various UN mechanisms on their cases, both on our website and through our social media channels. We also use the media, lobbying, advocacy campaigns, and collaboration with other NGOs and civil society to ensure the protection of victims.
Advocate for reforms to respect and protect human rights in all Arab countries
Based on our expertise on the Arab world and the individual cases Alkarama documents, we prepare in-depth reports on the human rights situation in each of the 20 countries we cover. These can be public reports, submissions to the Treaty Bodies – such as the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Human Rights Committee (HRCtee), and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) – ahead of a country’s review, or contributions to the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that takes place every four to five years. We also work with local civil society to participate in the reviews of National Human Rights Institutions in the Arab region by the Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
On the basis of information submitted to them, all of these mechanisms issue recommendations aimed at improving the human rights situation in a given country, which can in turn be used by the local civil society to lobby for their implementation.
Raising awareness on human rights in the Arab world
Alkarama also brings media attention to the cases and situations it covers, helping victims to have their voices heard and shedding light on the human rights situation of a country, through press releases as well as public reports and analyses published in various media outlets. In order to reach a broader audience, we increasingly rely on social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook.
From 2009 to 2015, we have organised the Alkarama Award to highlight the work of human rights defenders who have most significantly contributed to the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. As of 2016, to achieve a greater impact, as of 2016, we have decided to replace the annual award ceremony with an international advocacy campaign in support of Alkarama’s “human rights defenders of the year”.