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Human Rights Impact Hub
A more effective use of universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice
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.

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.
Hub Model
Hub Components
Selection of participants
Enthusiastic lawyers and human rights defenders with a strong legal background are encouraged to become members of the hub, benefit from its tools and be empowered to enhance human rights accountability.

Selected participants will be the driving force behind the Human Rights Impact Hub. It is through their proactivity and participation in training programs, in mentorship and networking that the hub can attain its goal: impactfully promoting justice, enhancing human rights accountability and ending impunity through innovative legal actions.

For more details on how to become a member, please check out the "join the hub" section
Online Training
Lawyers and human rights defenders will follow online training modules, focusing on universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice. The hub's training modules are aimed at being topic-specific, and at delivering legal expertise and teaching skills that can be practically and subsequently used to litigate.

The training modules provide participants with a strong understanding of how universal jurisdiction, sanctions and climate litigation work in practice, strengthen their capacity to navigate relevant laws and legislation, teach them how to frame a complaint, and reinforce the quality of their legal argumentation and ability to gather strong supporting evidence during legal actions.
Mentorship and job coaching
The added-value of following these training modules is the subsequent opportunity to be mentored by leading practitioners and experts in the relevant fields.

Hub members will thus be assisted in their future legal work and receive support and advice from their mentors when they take a case to court.
Engaging in strategic litigation and supporting lawyer's legal actions
To achieve the hub's objective of positive impact, participants will engage in climate litigation, work on real-life cases in which universal jurisdiction is applicable and/or submit sanction requests to target individual human rights abusers.

By setting up a legal aid fund and helping litigators to cover legal fees, the hub will support its members to pursue work on universal jurisdiction, targeted sanctions and climate justice after they have been trained.
Virtual Pan-Eurasian Networks
During litigation processes, hub participants will be able to seek advice through the three virtual networks, specializing on universal jurisdiction, sanctions and climate justice. These networks will act as collaboration platforms to generate new ideas and facilitate knowledge-sharing on legal issues or on cases.
Join the Hub!
Join our empowered community of like-minded professionals
Do you work for a human rights NGO or are you interested in working with one?

Do you have experience of litigation and pursuing legal actions?

Do you want to be part of a trail-blazing legal initiative ?

Are you interested in using promising, innovative legal strategies to enhance human rights accountability?

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By being part of the hub's impact-driven ecosystem, you will join forces with other lawyers and human rights defenders to think creatively and test underexplored accountability instruments to initiate out-of-the box legal actions. Thanks to your valuable human rights or environmental experience, you will reinforce our community of change-oriented individuals. Click here to download the application form and become a driving force towards fulfilling the hub's common objective of ending impunity for grave crimes in the FSU region.
Contact us today
Send us a message via the following form or see other contacts below
Rue Belliard 205,
Brussels, 1040
design and development
design and development
design and development