The Human Rights Impact Hub
A more effective use of universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice
About us
The Human Rights Impact Hub serves as a platform which regroups complementary capacity-building, networking and knowledge-sharing tools on universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice to provide lawyers with the necessary practical skills to engage in innovative litigation strategies.
The hub seeks to support lawyers and human rights defenders from countries of the Former Soviet Union (further FSU) to enhance human rights accountability and bridge the impunity gap in the region.

In order to increase the impact of legal actions, the hub links training opportunities, individual mentorship and virtual pan-Eurasian networks.

Through this ecosystem of complementary resources, the hub fosters a sense of community among human rights defenders and lawyers, and serves as a driving force towards the greater and more effective use of universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice.
Universal jurisdiction, Targeted sanctions and Climate litigation are underexplored legal instruments which have the potential to overcome the shortcomings of today's domestic and international judicial systems and the limits of standard legal remedies.

The Human Rights Impact Hub is built around the vision that these innovative and underused legal mechanisms are promising alternatives which will allow for perpetrators of grave human rights abuses and environmental crimes to be held accountable, for an end to impunity and for justice to be sought on behalf of victims.
Targeted sanctions
Domestic prosecutorial mechanisms in third countries, with functioning and independent judicial systems, seem to be a reasonable option for victims, their lawyers and civil society organizations. The United States, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have already adopted Magnitsky sanctions or similar laws, and the European Commission has recently pledged to forth a European Magnitsky act to target perpetrators of human rights abuses.

While many civil society actors from the FSU regional know about targeted sanctions, fragile understanding about how the tool works in practice, poor drafting of sanctions requests and lack of quality supporting evidence have led to the unsuccessful implementation of this tool. In fact, beyond the case of Sergey Magnitsky, sanctions have been used to a very limited degree in the FSU region and include only a small number of perpetrators from the North Caucasus and Ukraine. The Human Rights Impact Hub therefore seeks to boost the use of this promising accountability instrument.
Universal jurisdiction
Only a handful of universal jurisdiction cases from the FSU region are currently being litigated in various European countries. International non-governmental organizations specializing in universal jurisdiction have overwhelmingly concentrated on cases in Africa, the Middle East and South America. While investigative authorities from European countries have shown interest in initiating investigations on prospective cases from FSU states, even experienced lawyers and leading civil society organisations with a long history of providing legal assistance to victims of rights violation in the FSU region require further opportunities to deepen their knowledge about this instrument and its empirical application. The Human Rights Impact Hub aims to promote universal jurisdiction as a viable accountability tool and to improve lawyers' ability to implement it.
Learn more in a video from our workshop
Climate justice
In the relatively new and constantly-evolving field of climate/environmental litigation, lawyers from the FSU region may need guidance to navigate complex domestic civil, administrative, criminal, and constitutional frameworks related to the environment. Supporting them to analyse international environmental law, to understand the environmental dimension of human rights law and to identify litigation entry points in EU law will trigger the creation of innovative legal approaches to environmental issues. There is therefore the potential not only to revive the FSU local climate justice movement but also to launch an unprecedented wave of climate/environmental litigation in the region.
Join the hub