Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit, secular, civil society institution working at the regional level for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Our Mandate

Work

Human Rights Advocacy, Research and Monitoring

Mission

Promote Sustainable Development and Good Governance

Goal

To provide Legal, Strategic & Moral Support

Objectives

Promote an Appreciation & Observance of Human Rights Values

Who We are

Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit, secular, non-Government institution working at the regional level for the promotion and protection of human rights.  Started in 1993 it seeks to strengthen the ongoing work of human rights organisations and assist in networking for building a strong human rights movement.

Our Work

The core of our work is as a resource cum research organisation disseminating information, initiating and building campaigns and facilitating multi-sectoral dialogue and engagement. As part of our research effort HRF reviews and monitors government plans and policies, schemes, budgetary allocations and functioning of public institutions and laws for the promotion of grassroots democracy.

HRF promotes educational, economic and cultural well being and welfare of the people of India and works for the promotion and protection of human rights and sustainable development especially those of socially excluded communities regarding child rights, protection of environment, right to information, custodial justice, and empowerment of local government representatives.

Since 1993, HRF has been working towards strengthening and networking with various individuals, and institutions working for the promotion and protection of human rights. HRF believes in people’s democracy and social and sustainable development of the environment in defence of the oppressed and exploited. Much work is focused on gender justice and the rights of Dalits combining professionalism and volunteerism. On several occasions education material published by HRF have been very useful for raising social awareness on peoples rights. These include eradication of child labour, your rights when arrested, women’s rights in custody, fair and free elections, panchayat government, environment, human rights, right to information, etc.

HRF provides documentation and dissemination services to other professionals and organisations, carries out fact finding missions on human rights violations, organises public hearing where necessary, institutes scientific teams, files public interest litigation on behalf of the marginalized, organizes training programmes for civil society and government officials on human rights, and engages with lawmakers and state mechanisms in the interest of the marginalised. It has initiated social campaigns for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Our Mission

HRF works to promote a clean and safe ecosystem for sustainable development and governance and strives for power that is decentralised, democratic, transparent and accountable.

The mission is to strive for a society that

  • Protects and promotes the social, economic, political and natural rights of individuals and collectives in a manner that protects the environment.
  • Governs it’s affairs in a consultative, participatory and inclusive manner.
  • Ensures equality before law and is committed to eradication of all forms of discrimination against women, children, Dalits, minorities, working class, Adivasis, etc.

Our Goal

To provide legal, strategic and moral support to individuals and groups in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, towards asserting their human rights and to gain redress from the state, public and private institutions. In furtherance of this goal, HRF works to promote the educational, economic and cultural well being and welfare of the people of India and to work for the promotion and protection of human rights and sustainable development especially those of disadvantaged, backward and downtrodden groups, irrespective of caste, creed, race, community or religion.

Our Objectives

HRF works to

  • Promote an appreciation and observance of human rights values and standards.
  • Participate and strengthen evolution of popular grass roots, human rights movement.
  • Empower people through human rights awareness and assertion programmes and through participatory institution building.
  • Stimulate an alternative third world perspective on human rights shaped by the voices of the movements.
  • Lobby for changes in public policies and legislations for the promotion of human rights.
  • Foster research into local, national and international human rights issues.
  • Promote psycho-social help, legal services and relief and rehabilitation services for victims of human rights violations.
  • Defend human rights defenders and human rights organisations.

Praxis (How we do it)

HRF is based on a perspective and practice of human rights that is universal in its applicability but accommodates the specificities of a pluralistic society. It is based on the indivisibility of human rights rooted in the mandate laid down in UDHR, the Indian Constitution, statutory enactment, the two main UN covenants on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and several international treaties ratified by India.

HRF understands human rights as the voice of the oppressed and exploited, of indigenous people, fishing communities, women, Dalits, children, workers, artisans and peasants. These voices aspire for sustainable livelihood and ecosystems, popular governance and equitable development. In HRF’s strategy, the campaign for child rights and protection of human rights including building a cadre of human rights defenders who are sensitive to sustainable ecology and development is central and reflects the common struggle for social transformation which is holistic, humane, equitable and democratic. HRF underlines that child rights movements should have an ideology and programme of its own while relating and being part of struggles of different social movement and advocates that the child rights campaign should be integral to it. HRF’s priority to pressurise the nation state to place children’s concern high in their political agenda continues.

The core of our work is functioning as a resource cum research organisation disseminating information, initiating and building Campaigns and engaging in advocacy work. As part of our research effort HRF publishes and make public position notes on significant human rights issues and social change. Our work also includes reviewing and monitoring government plans and policies, schemes, budgetary allocations and functioning of public institutions and laws for the promotion of grass roots democracy.

To help achieve its aims HRF provides documentation and dissemination services to other professionals and researchers, organizations and networks, carries out fact finding missions on human rights violations, organizes public hearings where necessary, institutes scientific teams, files public interest litigation on behalf of the marginalized, organizes training programmes for activist of civil society organisation and government officials on human rights, and lobbies with policy makers and politicians in the interest of the marginalised. It has initiated social campaigns for the promotion and protection of human rights

HRF is involved in lobby and advocacy activities at state and regional level regarding child rights, protection of environment, right to information, custodial justice, empowerment of local government representatives, etc. HRF has been working towards strengthening and networking with various organisations, human rights activists, scientists, teachers, lawyers and other professionals, administrators, eminent persons, students, trade unions, democratic  organizations working for the promotion and protection of human rights.

HRF believes in people’s democracy and social and sustainable development of environment in defence of the oppressed and exploited. Much of its work is focused on gender justice and the rights of dalits combining professionalism and volunteerism. On several occasions education material published by HRF have been very useful for raising social awareness on peoples rights. These include eradication of child labour, your rights when arrested, women’s rights in custody, fair and free elections, panchayat government, environment, human rights, right to information, etc.

Voices of Struggle

Voices of Struggle represents the voices of the marginalised and exploited peoples, especially those of children and women, and their day-to-day resistance.

It will carry reports, findings and recommendations of micro-studies, fact–findings, public hearings, important judgments, memoranda, critiques of policy and law, interviews, etc. It will cover the movements of resistance of the working classes, especially unorganised workers, social and political struggles of Dalits, land and forest rights of the Adivasis, struggle of the fishing people for control over their homeland, ocean resources and coastal ecology, the land and livelihood struggles of the urban poor, the movement to protect land and traditional agricultural practices of small and marginal farmers and other socially excluded, stigmatised and/or invisibilised sections such as LGBTQIA, PVTG and PWD.

We welcome information from people’s movements and civil society organisations for inclusion on this site. We hope it will, in a small way, contribute towards building a society of justice and equality.

Our Supporters

Our Team

Team HRF comprises of seven women and four men with complementary skills, eight of whom are based in Chennai, and one each in Gummidipoondi, and Bangalore. Our Managing trustee-cum-director, deputy director, senior coordinator, and all coordinators are women. Additionally we have 40 volunteers based out of all 38 districts in Tamil Nadu.


Our Trustees