The origin of the League of Human Rights goes back to the year 2000 when its future founders began to develop human rights activities within an independent partner organization called The Environmental Law Service (EPS). However, the turning point for the League was the year 2002, when the League separated from EPS and following its official establishment, it began to develop a wide range of activities related to compliance with the human rights in Brno and Prague. It focused on the members of the police forces, protecting the rights of children and victims of the domestic violence.
Two years later, the visions of the League have taken a brand new direction. The more consistent enforcement of the human rights in practice of the state authorities as well as the awareness of the Czech society became a new objective of this organization.
The founder and the first chairman of the League of Human Rights was Jiří Kopal, who became the first Czech citizen to be awarded The Alice Garrigue Masaryk Award, the award granted for the courage shown while dealing with the problem of police violence and for promoting the principles of the open civil society in the Czech Republic.
Human rights beyond the borders of the Czech Republic
In spring of 2004, the League became a corresponding member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the oldest international organization that promotes all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The League became a full member after three years – in the spring of 2007.
Focus on the rights of patients and mentally disabled people
In 2005, the League began developing a legal assistance in the cases of illegal sterilization. In the same year the League merged with the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC). Based on this experience, the professionals of the League began to focus on human rights in health care and in cooperation with MDAC it still defends the rights of people with mental disabilities.
The education sector
In 2005, the League launched The Fair School project, which conducted an initial pilot study in the area of equal access to education. The original conception focused solely on the ethnic diversity in schools was broadened by other distinctions as well, in other words, it serves as a help to all the pupils with special educational needs. With this concept, the League has also entered other fractional projects, which support the strategy of the inclusive education.
Until 2006, the League’s activity was focused on domestic violence. The helpline and the internet were used by the League professionals to answer the inquiries of both men and women exposed to the terror by their partners, these people in need were assisted by the League during the trial and while dealing with the state authorities as well. In this particular year, the League excluded this issue from its activities in order to establish a separate organization Persefona, which has been helping the victims of domestic violence ever since.
The Legal help to others
The League also supported the activities of other subjects and the establishment of new projects. One of them is the organization called Public Interest Lawyers Association (PILA), in relation to which the League focuses on publishing activities and on improving the quality of education in the law faculties. Another joint project deals with the free – pro bono – legal aid provided by the richer law firms to the socially underprivileged.