London, United Kingdom


CHRI’s London office (registered charity no. 803325) is uniquely positioned to influence human rights outcomes in the Commonwealth. Our presence in London allows us to be at the heart of Commonwealth activity, particularly in the lead-up to the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be hosted in London in Spring 2018. It is fundamental that human rights is a core concern at this CHOGM, and CHRI is the organisation best placed to achieve this. CHOGM 2018 will also see the UK designated as the Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth for a period of approximately two years, creating a unique moment when both the Chair-in-Office and the official Commonwealth bodies are both in the same location. In addition, the recent appointment of Patricia Scotland, a former UK attorney general and member of the British House of Lords, further reinforces the importance of London as a hub of advocacy of the Commonwealth.

CHRI London works through targeted engagement with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth institutions and organisations, as well as member states through their diplomatic missions in London. CHRI London is therefore ideally positioned to advocate on priority issues with Commonwealth decision-makers and opinion formers, increasing reach and influence of our organisation as a whole. Our strategy for the period 2016-2020 focuses on holding the Commonwealth to account on human rights commitments; amplifying the work of CHRI through Commonwealth liaison; and strengthening the Commonwealth for human rights. 

These priorities build upon the strong record of CHRI London  in holding states to account and campaigning for improved standards. This is a record we have built since our activism during the Nigerian dictatorships of the 1990s, and recently we have been particularly influential in relation to post-conflict Sri Lanka as well as leading advocacy for Commonwealth action on the deteriorating situation in the Maldives, which was key to the Maldives inclusion on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Agenda. At the last CHOHM, in Malta, in 2015 our focus was addressing the closing space for civil society to operate. CHRI’s London office led research for CHRI’s report for the Meeting: Civil Society and the Commonwealth: Reaching for Partnership; organised a successful report launch event at the Canadian High Commission in London; and presented recommendations to all 53 Commonwealth member states at Commonwealth headquarters, Marlborough House in London. CHRI London has also delivered a series of public events on contemporary human rights themes relevant to the Commonwealth.

In addition to advocacy, research, and events in London, CHRI  London adds significant value to the broader work of CHRI by:

  • Building strong networks and contacts in order to identify advocacy opportunities within the Commonwealth system
  • Working with other Commonwealth organisations to reform Commonwealth institutions and practices and increase civil society access
  • Advocating for a Commonwealth Human Rights Commissioner
  • Advising and supporting other organisations to access the Commonwealth for human rights
  • Ensuring the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Commonwealth Journalists Association are informed of human rights challenges and opportunities

London Office

Room No. 219
School of Advanced Study
South Block, Senate House
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

+44(0) 207 664 4860

london@humanrightsinitiative.org ;   chri.admin@sas.ac.uk

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