We target two specific main areas of human rights; economic, social and cultural rights (ESC-rights) and the right to redress. Within these two areas we have gained extensive expertise of issues related to civil society and transitional justice, women’s rights and regional human rights’ systems.
Through our focus areas we want to raise awareness and to make known the obligations of different actors in order to secure the fulfilment of ESC-rights, as our conviction is that all human rights are universal and indivisible. The fact that ESC-rights tends to be viewed as an issue of political resources rather than being legally binding rights undermines this group of rights. Our aim is to emphasise the importance of ESC-rights, to develop and clarify the meaning of these rights and to set them high on the agenda.
Within the field of redress, we want to provide recognition of the rights of victims, promote victims as stakeholders, ensure the access to truth and reparation and promote guarantees of non-recurrence. International experience has shown that redress is essential to fostering human rights and peace in a country. Transitional justice have therefore long been on SFHR:s agenda. The concept encompasses an approach to achieving justice in times of transition from conflict and/or state repression. Measures include for example criminal prosecutions and justice, truth commissions, reparations and various kinds of institutional reforms.
To reach our goals we focus on strengthening and engaging civil society organisations, which are indispensible as local and regional organisations have the potential of promoting, observing and securing justice and stabilisation. This is primarily done by providing financial and technical support to local initiatives, which lead to a tangible advancement of human rights and simultaneously contribute to a development of the competence of local civil society. The SFHR relies on a broad network of human rights organisations in Africa, Latin America and Asia that work vis-a-vis regional human rights mechanisms.