The effective communication of human rights is an important area of work for us, given that promoting human rights is one of the core functions of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). We provide a platform for European NHRIs to build their capacities and exchange expertise on effective human rights communications. We also collaborate with our partners in this area in an effort to build broader support for human rights across Europe. This work is facilitated through our Communications Working Group.

Human Rights Messaging and Framing

In the context of rising populist narratives across Europe, it is important to rethink communication practices and re-formulate messages about human rights to ensure they are fully understood by the general public. We strengthen NHRIs’ capacities in this area in different ways, including by drawing together existing research on this topic and providing workshops and training activities.

In 2019, we held a workshop on ‘Communicating Economic and Social Rights’, which brought together communications and policy staff from European NHRIs to jointly explore approaches to advancing a positive human rights narrative in Europe.

People holding speech bubbles Download: Tips for effective messaging about economic and social rights

Cooperation with Regional and International Partners

We also work with our partners at a regional and international level to ensure greater cooperation in the area of communicating human rights. Together with Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies, representatives of European NHRIs and the ENNHRI Secretariat participate in annual workshops and meetings held by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which bring together communications experts to address opportunities and challenges around promoting human rights.

In 2018, we issued a joint statement, together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Global Alliance of NHRIs, committing to improve our public communication to successfully promote and protect human rights.

Panel of speakers Download statement: International organisations commit to building broader support for human rights

Communications Working Group

Our work in this area is facilitated through our Communications Working Group, which brings together over 20 European NHRIs. The Working Group acts as a hub of experts in this area and a platform to exchange knowledge, good practices and challenges that NHRIs face in communicating and promoting human rights. The Working Group also participates in joint meetings with other ENNHRI Working Groups to build greater cohesion between communications and policy functions.


Jason McKeown – Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Vice Chair

Molly Avigdor – Equality and Human Rights Commission

Members of the Communications and ESCR Working Groups
Communications and ESCR Working Groups (May 2019)

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence