Founded in 1993, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is an independent regional non-governmental organization which aims to promote respect for the principles of human rights and democracy in the Arab region. For this purpose, CIHRS focuses on analyzing the difficulties facing the application of international human rights law, disseminating a culture of respect for human rights in the region, and engaging in dialogue between cultures regarding the various international human rights treaties and declarations. CIHRS further seeks to attain this objective by developing, proposing, and promoting changes to policy and practice in the Arab region in order to bring them in line with international human rights standards. In addition, CIHRS conducts human rights advocacy at national, regional, and international human rights mechanisms, carries out research, and provides human rights education, both for youth and for established human rights defenders seeking ongoing professional development. CIHRS is a major publisher of information related to human rights in the Arab region, and its publications include a magazine, an academic quarterly, and scores of books dealing with various human rights-related issues.
A key component of CIHRS’ mandate is to help shape the understanding of and discourse around the most pressing human rights issues in the Arab region. CIHRS then seeks to coordinate and mobilize the key players and NGOs across the Arab world to work together to raise public awareness about these issues and to reach solutions in line with international human rights law.
CIHRS enjoys consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and observer status with the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights. CIHRS is also a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). CIHRS has its main offices in Cairo. CIHRS was awarded the French Republic Award for Human Rights in December 2007.