Menschenrechtsseminar von CARD

CARD cooperates with the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and aims to help build a network of human rights organisations throughout Ethiopia.

Participants in Addis Ababa. Photo: CARD

Ethiopia – a new generation of human rights defenders

Since September 2023, the Human Rights Foundation has been supporting the work of the organisation „Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy“ (CARD) with a project.

We are very pleased about the pilot training project developed with CARD, which aims to educate 180 students from secondary schools in Addis Ababa about human rights and their observance. During four weekend seminars in November and December 2023, nine groups of 20 students each will learn about basic concepts of human rights, the fundamentals of freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration, gender rights and gender equality.

Learning about human rights: participants in a CARD workshop. Photo: CARD

This is a project that is as necessary as it is courageous. Independent human rights work was hardly possible in Ethiopia, even after the fall of the long-time ruler Mengistu in May 1991. The members of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), which was founded in 1991 and was awarded the Human Rights Prize by Amnesty International Germany in 2022, lost their jobs at universities and were intimidated and threatened. In 2009, the organization’s funding opportunities were cut to such an extent that it had to close eight of its eleven offices in Ethiopia.


Hopes that had been pinned on the election of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister in 2018 were increasingly dashed: after an initial significant improvement in the human rights situation, the war in the north of the country (Tigray) led to serious human rights violations on all sides. Over 600,000 people were killed in the fighting and more than four million were forced to flee their homes. Human rights violations could often only be investigated at the risk of one’s life.


And now this young, committed CARD group has set out to fundamentally change the situation. It cooperates with the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and wants to help build a network of human rights organisations throughout Ethiopia.


A human rights festival as a step into practice

On 10 December 2023, there will be a human rights festival at which graduates of the seminars will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, for example – and also with the students who have already founded human rights clubs at Ethiopian universities.


How admirable the courage and vigour of these people.
How wonderful to be able to help.


And we don’t even have to show courage ourselves, we can just click to transfer some money and show our respect.

Gaining active supporters for the observance of human rights in Ethiopia – CARD training sessions in Addis Ababa (above and below) – Photos: CARD