The Human Rights Agenda Association (HRAA) was established in 2003 in İzmir with the participation of human rights defenders from different regions of Turkey in order to have activities in human rights field at national and international level.
The HRAA accepts that human rights as a value is above all political ideologies and worldviews, and believes that rights can only be improved by developing an approach to get into the very sources of issues and by using appropriate tactics and strategies to translate concrete proposal into real life. The HRAA categorically denounces all forms of violence, and while acknowledging that the state is the main agent of human rights violations, it equally objects the human rights violations committed by the armed dissident groups. The HRAA with its independent and impartial stance, will sensitise the public conscience towards human rights violations and will aim at developing a model for the society with it’s approach to human rights violations which pays no attention to the identity of the author or the victims of human rights violations.
Areas and Methods of Work
- Although HRAA considers all categories of human rights as part of its area of activity, it will periodically focus on certain rights and violations.
- In addition to Turkey’s long-standing human rights problems such as torture and freedom of expression, HRAA also operates in the areas of relatively new issues such as minority rights, economic, social and cultural rights as well as the International Criminal Court.
- The Human Rights Agenda, which takes up the problems and makes assessments with respect to universal human rights and drafts thematic reports specifying ways to solve those problems, not only will be submitting these reports to the attention of international bodies to which Turkey is a party to, but also will submit them to Turkish governments in order to convince them to make necessary changes and amendments.
- Being in close cooperation with the human rights organizations in Turkey, Human Rights Agenda is going to be exchanging opinions and experiences with other organizations by way of participating in the coalitions which have already been established or are going to be founded by itself in the future in order to strengthen human rights activism.
- The HRAA will share the tactics and strategies it produces with organisations active in Turkey and in other countries and in this way provide a common ground of experiences
- The HRAA will present new developments in the area of human rights to the knowledge and assessment of the human rights defenders in Turkey and in other countries through training programmes it will prepare.
The HRAA’s vision is to implement, develop, advance human rights in line with the international and supra-national human rights conventions, documents, values and the principles of international humanitarian law and democratic values and to prevent violations.
The HRAA’s mission is to recognize, without any distinction, human rights exceed any political ideology and worldview, and to work on fundamental human rights issues such as discrimination and freedom of expression, as well as minority rights, economic, social and cultural rights to ensure the protection of human rights by conducting studies, to support the creation of national and international mechanisms for the protection of human rights, to ensure that existing mechanisms are to work in line with the functioning and to prepare written and visual publications in all these areas, to make researches and observations and to obtain records, to present them to the public through reports and to implement the relevant actions, to make the community susceptible to rights violations by raising conscious with its independent and impartial stance and to build and implement models with its actions and operations functionally in various geographies that are durable.
The working principles of the HRAA are based on impartiality, independence, universality and integrity.
Impartiality and Independence: Since the HRAA accepts that human rights as a value is above all political ideologies and worldviews of human rights, the HRAA is independent of all governments, religious, political, economic, ethnic and social groups. While the HRAA is aware that states are the main perpetrators of rights violations, the HRAA is equally opposed to human rights violations by armed opposition groups. HRAA disregards the perpetrator or the victim, objectively targets all rights violations, and carries out studies to prevent.
Universality and Integrity: HRAA believes that human rights are a transcendent value for all, acting on the principle that human rights are universal and indivisible.
HRAA’s areas of study are all areas of human rights. Although the HRAA considers all human rights categories within its own field of study, it focuses periodically on certain rights. Accordingly HRAA concentrates on freedom of expression, discrimination, minority rights, human rights education, new developments in the field of human rights, lobbying, joining coalitions, model building and expulsion, strategic litigation, monitoring and reporting, impunity, refugee rights and International Criminal Court in its work.
The working methods of the HRAA, are carried out in accordance with the following ethical principles, confidentiality and conflict of interest rules, equal opportunity administration, environmental policy, purchase rules and in accordance with the principle of zero tolerance for corruption.
Code of Conduct of HRAA
Human Rights Agenda Association (HRAA) has been set up to promote human rights, ethics and integrity. Therefore, it is mandatory for every member, consultant, employee, domain experts, advisors and Board members to adhere, practice and promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity. They will, individually or as a team or as a representative of the association, behave professionally, with integrity and honesty. They will be fair, transparent and accountable for their actions and be consistently held in high esteem by those interacting with them. Additionally, every HRAA member, employee and consultant shall adhere to the code of ethics as laid down by their respective professional institutions conferring academic and professional credentials. HRAA expects its members, employees and consultants to self regulate their behavior in accordance with the above ethical code and will be responsible for its implementation and compliance thereof. Failure to adhere to the Code may attract severe consequences, including termination of employment and referral to the respective professional institutions for disciplinary action under their code of ethics.
Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest
HRAA lies in its ability to maintain confidentiality of data and information made available to it through individuals and institutions. We shall continue to protect, preserve and safeguard valuable proprietary information and other confidential information through a well formulated access management system whereby the information is available on a need to know basis with logs as to when and what information was accessed by each of the members, employees, consultants or domain experts.
The HRAA and engaged members, consultants, advisors and domain experts in addition to regular employees in a complex requirement of skill sets to deliver oversight services. In accordance with our conflicts management policy, we actively seek input of our members as regards their potential and current conflicts of interest with specific assignments. The HRAA expects of its members, consultants, advisors and employees to fully disclose either their own conflict of interest in any assignment or that of their immediate family member/s. HRAA Board is responsible to decide on each case of potential or reported conflict of interest case.
Equal Opportunity Administration
The HRAA is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate on grounds of nationality, age, gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, colour, race, religion, ethnicity, language, caste, creed, economic or marital status or disability.
We will continuously endeavor to provide environmentally friendly, safe and healthy working environment for our members, staff, consultants and associates. We shall be committed to proactively and actively prevent the wasteful use of natural resources in all that we do for a cleaner and healthier environment on a sustained basis. Towards these ends, we shall comply with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and the public policies in every location where we operate. We shall keep ourselves aware of the best practices in environmental matters to fully demonstrate this commitment.
In the context of our mandate oriented work, we shall promote following actions to protect environment in our day to day operations. These actions will be construed to meet the minimum threshold and therefore each one of us will continually strive to reach better benchmark in keeping with the current practices.
We shall turn off lights, fans, electric appliances and air-conditioners when not required.
We shall encourage our clients to receive soft copies of our consultancy reports and other communications and thereby avoid printing of material for dissemination.
We shall actively encourage printing on both sides of the paper to restrict use of paper material.
We shall opt for recycled paper and reusable options as regards stationary items.
We shall procure, to the extent economically viable, environmentally compliant ‘green’ products such as computers, servers, monitors and other electronic gadgets for the office.
Meetings and conferences:
We shall restrict the use of printed material to our delegates to the conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings organized by us.
Each one of us shall make use of electronic media and gadgets to disseminate views instead of the printed media.
We shall encourage our guest speakers and chief guests to likewise use electronic media to convey their messages and views.
We apply the funders rules if it is other than stated under.
Our rule for purchasing goods is to receive tenders (taking at least three offers) from the open market. The Board of HRAA evaluates the tenders and decides which offer to follow.
Zero Tolerance for Corruption
HRAA’s Anti-Corruption Policy is based upon a zero tolerance approach to corruption. Zero tolerance means that HRAA does not tolerate corruption in relation to any of our work and that all suspicions of corruption thought to be in breach of this policy are reported to HRAA. It means that HRAA will take all suspicions of corruption seriously and assess, act upon, investigate and discipline all such cases as appropriate and in a professional, transparent and fair manner. Compliance with this policy is mandatory for members, staff, implementing partners, contractors and related Third Parties. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to and including the possibility of termination of membership, employment or termination of the violating party’s contract and/or business relationship with HRAA. HRAA furthermore reserves the right, without prejudice to any other right or remedy available to it, to take such additional action, civil and/or criminal, as may be appropriate.
All money transfers and delivers are carried out by bank transfer, except the payments below 20TL(3EUR).