Who we are
The Universal Rights Group (URG) is a small, independent think tank dedicated to analysing and strengthening global human rights policy. It is the only such institution in Geneva and the only think tank in the world focused exclusively on human rights.
The goal of the organisation is to support and strengthen policy-making and policy-implementation in the international human rights system by providing rigorous yet accessible, timely and policy-relevant research, analysis and recommendations. It provides a forum for discussion and debate on important human rights issues facing the international community and a window onto the work of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms – a window designed to promote transparency, accountability, awareness and effectiveness.
A key aspect of this goal is to make the international human rights system more accessible to, and bring it into closer orbit with policy-makers and other stakeholders – including the victims of human rights violations and human rights defenders – at regional, national and local levels.
The Group looks to support and strenghten policy-making in three main ways:
- Through the provision of independent, respected and policy-relevant research, analysis and recommendations.
- By providing a non-political and informal platform for dialogue, information-sharing and cooperation on pressing human rights concerns.
- By promoting knowledge, understanding and awareness at regional, national and grassroots levels, so as to empower individuals and groups to better engage with the international human rights system and to drive change.
“To generate progress towards the full realisation of the rights and freedoms contained in the universal human rights instruments through solutions-based policy research, forward-looking policy prescription, and through offering a respected platform for information-sharing and dialogue”.
Integrity, Independence and Impartiality – in order to have impact, the Group’s work must be respected and credible.
Impact – everything the Group does will be premised on generating impact, on supporting and strengthening human rights policy-making.
Innovation – the Group will aim to be ‘ahead of the curve’ in responding strategically to important and emerging issues in order to provide policy-makers with timely guidance. It will also aim to be innovative in the way in which it delivers its outputs – with particular emphasis placed on levering information technology and social media.
Insight – the Group will also aim to help policy-makers understand and get to the heart of a particular issue, by offering new strategic thinking.
Inclusivity – the Group will aim to engage all stakeholders in its work. It will promote cross-regionalism and gender-balance in everything it does.
Integration – the URG’s work will be premised on contributing to, supporting and improving the policy output of existing human rights structures and standards. The Group will also act as a ‘bridge’ or interface between renowned international experts and policy-makers in order to promote institutional linkages and knowledge-transfer.