Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights is an independent German-Swiss non-governmental organisation dedicated to the protection of human rights in Belarus and Ukraine.
Since our foundation in 2009, we have been advocating for people who are persecuted because of their political or civic commitment. We publicise cases of human rights violations and support the forces of a free and independent civil society in both countries. Libereco works closely, and on an equal footing, with Belarusian and Ukrainian organisations.
Libereco informs about human rights violations, supports victims of war and violence, and is involved in intercultural human rights education. Together with like-minded organisations and actors, we push for the respect, defence and promotion of human rights across borders.
We are recognised as a non-profit organisation in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
If we take our values of freedom, democracy and rule of law seriously, we must stand by those whose human rights are being curtailed.
In Belarus and Ukraine, we support organisations, initiatives and individuals who are subject to repression because of their political or civil society involvement. At the same time, together with local partners, we try to draw attention to grievances and to counteract them.
At the same time, we want to support the Ukrainian and Belarusian civil society in its efforts to enforce democratic standards and the rule of law in their countries.
Education and information
The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training of 2011 identifies three necessities for anchoring human rights in a society in the long term: education about, through, and for human rights.
A glance at the human rights situation and human rights education in Belarus, Ukraine as well as in Germany shows how diverse these are.
Although there is a fundamental consensus in Germany on the relevance of the issue, the fact remains that the situation in Belarus and Ukraine is very different: here human rights are repeatedly violated and people get excluded. In Belarus, however, there is little awareness in society of the concept of human rights and the values associated with them.
In Ukraine, too, human rights are violated on a daily basis alone by the conflict in the east of the country. The war in Donbas polarises, locates human rights violations in the hands of the opponent, and leaves little room for a critical approach to the observance of human rights within a group. We also want to change this, for example by organising workshops and educational projects.
Libereco helps those in need or who have accidentally fallen on hard times. The political crisis in Ukraine has sparked or aggravated a number of humanitarian problems: destroyed houses, internally displaced persons, and the collapse of the entire infrastructure and economy.
In order to help people to overcome the crisis and to develop the country into a stable democracy that respects human and civil rights, we are involved locally.
In addition, we deal with the situation of homeless and marginalised people in Belarus. It is precisely these groups that the Belarusian regime is harassing. We want to stand by them and give them a voice – human rights apply to everyone.