Centre on Governance through Human Rights

The Center on Governance through Human Rights of the Berlin Governance Platform in Berlin advises on governance and human rights issues. Transitional justice in transitional societies, climate justice and cyber justice (human rights on the internet) are key topics in which the centre has many years of expertise. The Center follows a transdisciplinary and multi-actor approach, advises ministries and foundations, and organises and moderates events that operate between business, politics, academia and civil society.

Combination of human rights and governance. The Centre focuses on a strong link between human rights and governance in all areas of its work. MaW better governance through human rights, not through human rights. Human rights can be mainstreamed in all areas of work and decision-making, be it in the context of freedom of expression on the internet, minority rights in transitional justice, freedom of assembly in cyberspace, women's rights in climate justice. This combination makes the Centre unique and the unique combination of transdisciplinary policy instruments, relevant research and capacity building sets it apart from other centres. The Centre's Fellows work on topical political issues of governance and answer questions on how and through which human rights in specific areas can be successfully governed.

Worldwide, not regional. The Centre's work is not regionally limited, it takes place worldwide. The Centre works in several languages wherever there is a need to establish better governance in and through human rights. The Center does not limit its advisory services to one sector - for example, we deal with enquiries from multinational companies, EU institutions in Brussels, a UN Internet Governance Forum or a civil society organisation in Bangladesh and Colombia.

Human rights make the headlines every day. But their observance and implementation still face major challenges at all levels. Whether rampant violence, abuse and trafficking of women, ethnic cleansing, cybercrime, climate change, exploitation of immigrants or the suppression of civil society - the wave of human rights violations has led to a new public debate about human rights and their controllability through good governance. The aim of the centre is therefore to find out how human rights can be better and more effectively applied and observed in politics, business, education or in everyday dealings with one another in the future.

Better governance in public and private organisations can only be achieved if both good governance and human rights are anchored in decision-making processes as criteria in accordance with international law and human rights law and if the two principles complement each other. In times of globalisation, digitalisation and open borders, nation states can no longer be the sole guarantor of human rights. Companies, civil society and international organisations and transnational networks are just as obliged to respect and promote human rights as state institutions.

The work of networks, organisations and institutions must be continuously monitored, analysed and supported at local, national, regional and global level. Only in this way can the level of human rights and governance be made visible and compliance with human rights ensured. Institutions from the worlds of business, science and politics have committed themselves to this task through international agreements. They monitor, measure and analyse the quality of governance of the respective actors and institutions, as well as the work of governments in the area of governance.

Activities of the centre

The centre offers education, training and practical support in the field of governance and human rights. The centre also includes an international network of researchers who carry out reliable and application-oriented studies.

Studies & Policy Briefs. The centre focuses on the reciprocal relationship between governance and human rights. Perspectives from different disciplines, such as the social sciences, law, economics or philosophy, as well as the private, civil and public sectors are included. The Centre's studies therefore always encompass transdisciplinary knowledge and the experiences of academia and practice.

Consultancy. The Center provides advice to governments, organised civil society, networks and companies worldwide. It brings together the expertise of policy advisors, academics and other experts who share their many years of experience in their respective professional fields, e.g. campaigning, advocacy, research in the area of governance and human rights.

Trainings. The training and further education programmes offered by the Centre combine good governance and human rights principles in order to promote sustainable decision-making processes and policy-making. They are primarily aimed at students, diplomats, NGOs, decision-makers and company representatives. They are based on best practice examples and are particularly important for regions that are in a phase of social transformation.

Lecture series and roundtables. The lecture series takes place at regular intervals with partner organisations (foundations, NGOs, universities, business) in Berlin and internationally. The respective speakers shed light on the connection between governance and human rights from their professional fields. The speakers are invited by the Center and come from companies, governments, NGOs and/or international organisations and private initiatives of the Center.


7th December 2023: Dr Anja Mihr, Center on Governance through Human Rights, received the International Award for Human Rights in Higher Education, by the UCCHRE based in New York: https://ucchre.org/awards/

In 2023, Anja launched the first Central Asia Regional Master's in Liberal Arts Programme for Human Rights and Sustainability (MAHRS) and which she is supervising at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It is the 8th regional MA Programme of the Global Campus for Human Rights in Venice, that also recently was awarded the Council of Europe's North-South Prize in Human Rights.

Anja has been awarded for the work in HRE in Higher Education Institutions and Universities for the past 20 years setting up international and interdisciplinary programmes in Italy, Germany, Albania and Central Asia.

Further up-to-date information on the work of the centre and its director Prof. Dr. Anja Mihr can be found at here.


Dr Anja Mihr



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