Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran (AHRAZ) is an independent organization with headquarter in Norway. The main purpose of AHRAZ is to conduct voluntary work in connection with the human rights (including political, religious, ethnic, cultural and social) situation of various minority populations in Iran with a special focus on those of the biggest, Azerbaijani Turks. The organization was established on the basis of a vision to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote all forms of human rights universal and indivisible principles and standards, with a view to preventing and alleviating suffering of human rights victims in Iran, and thereby contributing to the promotion of respect for pluralism, non-discrimination, equality, democracy as well as maintenance of peace, sustainable development and peaceful co-existence in Iran and in the world.
The main goals of the organization are:
- To promote the realization of the rights established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights within Iran, a country that stands in serious violation of human rights;
- To promote and encourage compliance of Iran with civil and political rights including the right to self-determination, elimination of discriminatory ideas and acts in order to achieve freedom, justice and peace and contribute to fulfilling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) and its 2nd Optional Protocol on Abolition of Death Penalty;
- To promote and contribute to improving the economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms in Iran, in an attempt to encourage fulfilling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and undertaking of non-discrimination in Iran;
- To promote implementation of international human rights norms and standards in Iran in terms of the international conventions on human rights, including promotion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), UN Declaration against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners , and so encourage respect for and adherence to these.
Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran (AHRAZ) will focus on the following main activities:
- Information management and sharing including issuing, distributing and disseminating regular, especial and flash reports about violations of minority rights in Iran to various sources including UN bodies, Amnesty International , other human rights organization and media;
- Building and enhancing capacity of a local network of information sources inside and outside Iran for systematic information gathering and processing regarding human rights situation of various minority populations and individuals belonging to Iran;
- Attempting to initiate and support a dialogue center for minority rights on Iran;
- Publishing reports, news, books, petitions and other publications as well as organizing lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, and meetings as part of a broad advocacy for the rights of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Iran;
- Providing possible humanitarian aid and assistance to the acute victims of violations of minority rights in Iran;
- Fund-raising in order to be able to implement core activities of the organization in line with the standards and principles set for such non-governmental organizations;
- Proactive local, national and international networking to promote and implement the organizational programs, projects, activities and initiatives;
- Acting as advisory to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN human rights bodies and commissions, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations and NGOs on the issues related to minority rights in Iran;
- Providing training and educational materials to the Iranian population regarding minority rights and international norms and standards as part of advocacy and capacity building initiatives;
- Promoting the main key activities of the Amnesty International such as defending individuals at risk, especially prisoners of conscience, abolition of death penalty, fight against torture, discrimination and disappearances, freedom of expression, rights of indigenous people as well as right to the living in dignity.
The above mentioned activities will be mainly realized through:
- Information management including production and distribution of various informative products such as reports, books, training materials, and other publications;
- Advocacy and capacity building such as lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, meetings, petitions, education and training;
- Awareness raising;
- Networking and communication with various possible local, national and international sources and actors;
- Assistance to the very acute victims of human rights in Iran;
- Dialogue-based initiatives;
- Act as advisory, consultant and reference on the issues related to minority rights in Iran.
AHRAZ is an independent and non-governmental foundation established in 2014. The official registration of the foundation is under process. AHRAZ members are present in Europe and North America and collaborating with varied human rights organizations and foundations.
AHRAZ Board, 2014