The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) commissioned this study to further develop its strategic approach to technical cooperation with governments to respect, protect and promote human rights. The project consisted of five country studies and thematic studies on national human rights institutions, national human rights action plans, human rights education and administration of justice and a synthesis report. The conclusions and recommendations in the synthesis report were adopted by the OHCHR and forwarded to the UN Commission for Human Rights.

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The European Commission wished to improve its knowledge and understanding of the situation in the 13 candidate countries concerning discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. The report from this project highlights the steps that needed to be taken by the candidate countries in order to transpose and implement the non-discrimination directives.

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The flexible set-up under the contract provided the European Commission with expert teams to carry out, whenever needed, thematic evaluations of projects and programmes funded in the context of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). Evaluated projects covered themes such as the work of torture rehabilitation centres, human rights masters programmes, anti-racism programmes and a multi-annual, multi-country Andean human rights programme. The main focus of the eight evaluations was on the direct impact on participants in and beneficiaries of the project activities, but the evaluations also sought to establish the wider impact of the EIDHR-funded projects or programmes on the situation which originally gave rise to the problems addressed by the project.

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Building standards were developed for the following hospital functions: operating room complex, general nursing department, outpatient department, emergency department and intensive care units. A methodology for estimating building costs was developed and advice was given on improving the decision-making process for investment in healthcare.

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The project aimed to provide expertise and to develop model(s), instruments and techniques for the assessment of the impact and results of human rights activities undertaken by the partner organisations in Georgia of the Dutch development organisation Cordaid. The models and instruments were developed in workshops with the partner organisations themselves. They were used in an institutional and programme self-evaluation of the partner organisations, conducted jointly by the partner organisations and evaluators recruited by Human European Consultancy.

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About our projects

Multi-annual & multi-country EU-wide networks

A major strand of our work in the field of non-discrimination and equality is the multi-annual and multi-country EU-wide networks, established and coordinated by Human European Consultancy for the European Commission. These are the Academic Network of European Disability Experts (ANED), managed with the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, and the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination law, managed with the Migration Policy Group and the University of Utrecht. Over the years, these networks have continually produced ground-breaking national, comparative, synthesis and thematic reports.


Our research is geared to providing policy-relevant and evidence-based information and analysis that supports respect for and protection of internationally recognised human rights. For example, for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) we have conducted research on access to justice in discrimination cases in the EU and undertaken a study of data collection on the social situation of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. Through FRA’s research network, FRALEX, we provided reports at the international and EU level and for more than 20 EU Member States on a wide range of topics, such as child trafficking, homophobia, data protection and national human rights institutions. Within the framework of the FRALEX successor, FRANET, we have produced reports on the principle of non-refoulement (prohibition on returning refugees to persecution) and on the social inclusion of migrants. For the European Commission we have analysed and assessed the establishment of equality bodies in the EU Member States and EFTA countries. We have also carried out a mapping project on the legal and policy framework for anti-discrimination in Turkey and the Western Balkans. In addition, we have conducted extensive research on the feasibility of harmonisation within the EU of legislation combating violence against women and children and violence based on sexual orientation.

Training and awareness-raising

Our evidence-based analysis and advice, together with target-group-specific approaches, are the key elements of our training and awareness-raising projects. For the European Commission we have organised good practice exchange seminars on all discrimination grounds for representatives of the governments of the EU Member States. We have also run anti-discrimination and diversity training for NGOs and trade unions. These were later followed by awareness-raising seminars in the area of non-discrimination and equality, targeted at civil society organisations in general.

Impact assessment and indicator development

Donors require evaluations to assess the impact of the projects they fund. Evaluations we have undertaken include projects funded within the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, a global review of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights technical cooperation programme and various evaluations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In addition to the evaluations themselves, we contribute to the development of methodology for evaluations, such as developing indicator approaches and frameworks. Examples include outcome indicators for human rights interventions for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Dutch organisation Cordaid. More recently we supported FRA in developing statistical outcome indicators for Article 19 CRPD (on independent living).

Our office

Wilhelminapark 61
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The Netherlands
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