How can you support an NGO professionally?

UN and human rights

Kerstin Martens

To person

Ph. D. (European University Institute), born 1974; Junior professor for international relations and world society at the University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597 "Statehood in Transition", Linzer Str. 9a, 28359 Bremen.

Non-governmental organizations play an important role in protecting human rights as agenda setters, advisers and monitors. The contribution presents the structures and limits of cooperation with the UN.


NGOs [1] have many opportunities to collaborate with the United Nations (UN) on human rights development. You support UN institutions and provide them with information on human rights violations. They regularly advise UN committees that are active in the field of human rights or support them in monitoring compliance with human rights conventions. NGOs have been interacting with the UN since it was founded; In the course of the 1990s, however, the scope and intensity of the cooperation expanded significantly. [2]

This article aims to investigate the possibilities of NGOs to get involved in the framework of the UN system for human rights by examining their interactions as agenda and standard setters, as advisors and formulators and as monitors and implementers of UN policies become. Furthermore, the requirements for NGO interactions with the UN are considered, on the one hand access conditions for NGOs at the UN are examined and on the other hand organizational structures in the NGOs for cooperation with the UN are presented.

I would like to thank Anja Mihr for the helpful comment on this article. Celia Enders and Gesa Schulze contributed to the formal design of the contribution.