Closure of International Council on Human Rights Policy:
A message from the Chair of the Executive Board
The Executive Board has very reluctantly taken the decision to close the ICHRP at the end of February. This is primarily due to continued financial difficulties, largely a result of the difficult funding climate, especially for human rights and even more so for human rights policy research. It is especially regrettable because for more than a decade the ICHRP stimulated co-operation and exchange across the non-governmental, governmental and inter-governmental sectors, and strove to mediate between competing perspectives. ICHRP’s intellectual autonomy, its willingness to engage with complexity, readiness to risk breaking boundaries of discipline and practice, commitment to rigour and collaboration will continue to render ICHRP’s work, approach and contributions relevant for many years to come.
Preserving a Rich Legacy
A new ICHRP web archive will ensure that the fruits of 35 major multi-disciplinary research initiatives, including all reports, summaries, translations and nearly 200 working papers, covering a wide range of policy issues, will continue to be freely accessible for the benefit of researchers, policy makers, human rights practitioners and others.
In addition, a publicly accessible archive of all materials pertaining to ICHRP’s history and founding, operations over the years, drafts, research materials and communications will soon be available at the library of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva
Despite the financial challenges, the last 12 months or so have been a very dynamic period during which the Secretariat under the leadership of Vijay Nagaraj led the way in finalising a new strategic plan, initiating new research, completing and publishing older projects, and engaging in a series of outreach initiatives, including through a greatly enhanced web and electronic communications strategy. Indeed, the Secretariat has just published two new important reports, one on redefining approaches to evaluating human rights work and another on sexuality and sexual health in the European region.
We are very thankful to all of you who made the work of the ICHRP possible: present and former members of the Council and Board; advocates, scholars and other experts who participated in our work; our partners and donors; and most of all the wider community of human rights activists. We express our special thanks to former and current staff at the Secretariat, which was always the engine room of the organisation.