Source description last updated: 25 March 2020

In brief: The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) is an Oslo-based non-governmental organisation working to ensure the respect of human rights in Europe and the former USSR.

Coverage on

Selected reports

Covered quarterly on for countries of priorities A, B and C.


“We are a group of people devoted to the struggle for justice and freedom worldwide. […]

We believe that defending the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation, is the key to promoting security and prosperity for all.” (NHC: Who we are, undated)

“The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) was established in 1977 as a watchdog organisation to ensure that the [Helsinki Final Act] from 1975 was respected” (NHC: Annual Report 2018, p. 7). “Our aim was to support persecuted human rights defenders in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe […]” (NHC: Who we are, undated).

“We believe in the power of documenting human rights abuses– whether torture, unlawful killings, attacks perpetrated against the freedom of speech and abuses against the right to free and fair elections. Reliable and relevant information is vital to hold perpetrators accountable and to counter the lies and silence that surrounds human rights abuse.

To facilitate change, we report and inform both the Norwegian and the international community about vital concerns. […]

Last but not least, we support individuals, organizations and projects working to promote human rights in our geographical focus region, Europe and the former Soviet Union.” (NHC: Who we are, undated)


“The NHC’s main donors are the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Open Society Foundation (OSF), and the OAK Foundation. Membership fees and private donations are important additional sources of income.”

“The NHC’s total income in 2018 was NOK 46.1 million […]. Donations amounted to NOK 100,000.” (NHC: Annual Report 2018, p. 37)

Scope of reporting:

Geographical scope: CIS countries, Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Turkey

Thematic scope: flaws in judicial systems; police abuse; restrictions on fundamental rights (including freedom of assembly and association), arbitrary arrest of political opponents; media censorship; vote rigging; war crimes and crimes against humanity etc. (NHC: Finding the Facts, undated)


Depending on the their scope and format, NHC reports may be based on field interviews with affected persons, including non-formalised interviews based on an “approximate list of topics and questions” for discussion with interviewees (see, for example, NHC: Violence against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, 2018, p. 14). Other reports may predominantly draw upon public sources (see, for example, NHC: “Lost in Russia”; A critical assessment of Norway referring to Russia as a safe third country and safe country of origin, 2019).

Languages of publications:

English and Norwegian

Further reading / links:

The Barents Observer: Russian MFA lashes out against Helsinki Committee, says Norway supports anti-Russian campaign, 24 May 2018


All links accessed 25 March 2020.