What We Do
The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) uses a three-pronged strategy to support and promote human rights in Iran.
- Research and Documentation.Our team of researchers and journalists conducts extensive research on human rights conditions in Iran. Drawing on considerable contacts among all layers of Iranian civil society, CHRI is able to conduct far-reaching and extensive interviews with primary sources, many of them inside Iran. We use this information to provide up-to-date, verified documentation of rights violations in the form of comprehensive reports, briefing papers, fact sheets, news articles, press releases, statements, interviews, blog posts, and multimedia productions including videos, audio podcasts, and interactive online projects.Much of the CHRI’s work is disseminated in both English and Persian, allowing us to reach not only the English-speaking world, but Iranian human rights defenders as well. CHRI has become one of the leading sources of information on the condition of human rights in Iran, and is frequently the source of major breaking news on human rights developments.Through its research and documentation, CHRI seeks to shed light on human rights violations and build international coalitions to support human rights and hold Iranian institutions and individuals accountable for abuses.CHRIn has achieved significant results.Our report on Iranian students barred from education because of their political activity or religious beliefs has led to universities around the world accepting these students and providing them with further education.Our research on the routine killing by Iranian security forces of low-income Iranian citizens working as cross-border couriers and our report on the secret executions at Mashhad’s Vakilabad prisondrew the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and the UN Secretary General, who included information on these violations in their reports.Focusing an international spotlight on Vakilabad led to a noticeable reduction in the number of executions at this prison.
- Media Awareness. CHRI focuses international media attention on human rights abuses in Iran through close and constant contact with key journalists in major media outlets throughout the world. We alert the media to events and issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, furnish verified documentation of real-time developments on the ground in Iran, provide background information and substantive analysis of domestic conditions in Iran and the broader region that pertain to human rights, give frequent in-depth interviews and commentary to major international print and broadcast media outlets, and write op-eds for major publications around the globe.Through our sustained media outreach we seek to expand international awareness of human rights conditions in Iran and inform the international community of critical rights issues.
- Institutional Advocacy. CHRI engages in extensive international advocacy, with national governments around the globe and leading international institutions. We have an active presence at the United Nations in New York and Geneva; our representatives regularly brief UN diplomats and human rights bodies, speak at the Human Rights Council, and advocate with UN member states and members of the Human Rights Council. Recognizing the increasing influence of emerging powers in international forums, we have partnered with Conectas Human Rights in Brazil. In addition, CHRI advocates with key private sector actors to support issues such as freedom of information in Iran.For example, CHRI advocates with leading technology firms to support free and unfettered access to digital information in Iran, and with international satellite broadcasters to counter Iranian signal jamming. CHRI’s advocacy has been instrumental in advancing international resolutions, such as the United Nation’s creation and renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, and the International Telecommunications Union’s adoption of anti-satellite jamming regulations.
In addition, CHRI also focuses on supporting and expanding the Iranian human rights community.
- Social and Cultural Outreach: CHRI has expanded its work to include social and cultural projects that aim to reach, inform, and sensitize a broader audience to human rights issues. Expanding our work beyond traditional human rights documentation and advocacy, CHRI is working with a broad spectrum of prominent Iranians from a range of disciplines, including the arts, culture, music, and the social sciences, to give voice and support to layers of Iranian society outside the traditional human rights community.Through these projects we aim to reach new audiences and promote human rights discourse more broadly. CHRI has published a book of editorial cartoons and drawings on human rights themes by internationally acclaimed Iranian artists that includes accompanying commentary by leading Iranian intellectuals, writers, filmmakers, lawyers, and activists.We post weekly editorial cartoons on human rights themes by a renowned Iranian artist on our website. We post audio podcasts featuring Iranian filmmakers, musicians, satirists, doctors, lawyers, academics, women’s rights activists, academics, and former and current prisoners of conscience and their family members.We are also working with leading sociologists to explore the sociological and cultural dimensions of human rights conditions.
- Capacity Building: CHRI works actively to inform, educate and empower Iranian civil rights activists through a variety of capacity building projects. We train Iranian human rights defenders in research, documentation, and verification techniques, in order to train them in effective human rights advocacy. CHRI has also undertaken major initiatives to provide Iranian civil society activists with unfettered access to information.