Introduction to CHRD

  • chrd staff members

CHRD is a leading Sri Lankan human rights organization established in 1997 by human rights lawyers and activists. CHRD has worked to protect and promote human rights development and has long been engaging in defending human rights in Sri Lanka. It is also considered a source of legal support and strategic guidance for minorities, the disadvantaged and grassroots human rights organizations. Despite intense surveillance and being branded traitors by the government, CHRD continues to work tirelessly to defend marginalized segments of society and expose undemocratic government action. CHRD’s primary identity has been its legal assistance program around which its other activities of social mobilization and advocacy have been built. CHRD’s strength is its grassroot human rights defender network and its holistic approach to working with victims.

CHRD has developed several publications of which the most recent and significant are the “Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA): A Critical Reflection” and “Enforced Disappearance In Sri Lanka: Lessons from CHRD Advocacy”[1]. CHRD was also awarded the 2014 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

The organization has withstood many challenges in the past and in looking to the future is keen to embrace the perceived change in governance by ensuring that individual and group rights have a strong and effective voice.

Vision, Mission and Thematic Areas


An empowered society where equality, justice, protection and promotion of human rights and good governance is guaranteed and enjoyed by all in a democratic state


We are a civil society organization empowering society through awareness-raising, mobilizing, proactive interventions and advocacy for promoting and protecting human rights and good governance

Our Values

Empowerment: We empower our staff and clients to take control over their lives, set their own agendas, gain skills or have their own skills and knowledge recognized, increase self-confidence, participate in problemsolving and develop self-reliance.

Non Discrimination: We believe and promote fairness in all our dealings with each other and our stakeholders, and treating all without prejudice.

Accountability: We take responsibility for our decisions & actions and are answerable to our stakeholders.

Participation: We encourage and work with each other and our stakeholders so that all are actively engaged in the work of CHRD.

Transparency: We strive to be clear and open about what we do, why we do it and how we do it.

Teamwork: We provide support to one another, working co-operatively,respecting one another's views, and making our work environment fun and enjoyable.

Thematic Areas

Civic Engagement

CHRD believes that identified vulnerable communities must be empowered to develop and access solutions within their communities. They should be empowered to engage with community mechanisms and institutions to address their concerns. The programme of civic engagement is designed to advice and assist members of vulnerable communities to frame their concerns within a rights framework and to engage with the administrative and legal systems to address their individual grievances and thereby also hold these institutions accountable to its citizens.

Solidarity and Movement Building

This programme area is focused on meeting and building relationships with members and family members of the identified vulnerable or victim communities. The programme is focused on building relationships with amongst people facing common issues, mobilize their calls for change and network people with other stakeholders, particularly human rights defenders and institutions. A part of this programme is also to support community mobilization. CHRD will also undertake monitoring missions to gather information and engage with the experience of the identified vulnerable communities.

Legal Assistance and Policy Advocacy

The legal assistance programme is fed by the information on individual and group problems that can be addressed by legal interventions. It is a means of helping individuals to engage with the state and administration in the resolution of their problems, particularly those problems that need to be addressed by the State.

The policy advocacy part of the programme will be based on research conducted and stories gathered to support advocacy for institutional and legal change that reflects the needs and aspirations of the people.

Contact Details

No: 33
Sagara Road
Sri Lanka

Telephone: (+94) 11 250 6001
Fax: (+94) 11 250 6002

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