Salam for Democracy & Human Rights (Salam DHR)
Founded in 2012, Salam for Democracy & Human Rights (Salam DHR) is a human rights NGO. It is registered in France, the United Kingdom (UK) & Switzerland. We undertake research & advocacy, mainly in relation to Bahrain, but also the Gulf, the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region & in relation to thematic issues, notably statelessness. We engage with other NGOs, notably partners (see below) and frequently act in coalition
with others to achieve specific targets or outcomes. We engage with intergovernmental organisations and states in order to bring about socio-political reform and ever-improving adherence by states to international human rights standards & practices. The organisation is not, in effect, allowed to register in Bahrain.
Salam DHR’s team members and contributors are based mainly in the UK & Lebanon. One member of the team is based in Bahrain, where she faces ongoing intimidation. Other team members live in Germany, France & Sweden. We rely on interns to advance our work and provide them an opportunity to learn new skills and produce outputs to which they can refer as they embark upon their careers.
Salam DHR is mainly crowd funded, notably by philanthropically-minded people & firms in Bahrain & the Gulf. At the time of writing, it has a small portfolio of project-related funding. Salam DHR is independent of all governments.
Focus on Bahrain & a gradual diversification of work
Building on nearly a decade of work focusing on Bahrain, Salam DHR is gradually diversifying its geographical and thematic areas of work. The organisation conducts, both alone & jointly, research, advocacy & awareness raising initiatives to advance a broad-based human rights programme, including in relation to statelessness & deprivation of citizenship. The organisation promotes, in broad terms, the principles of democracy as the most efficient model for the advance of human rights. We often set out our recommendations for reform, say of policy & practice, in reports in relation to United Nations’ (UN) treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) or the UN’s Special Procedures, along with specific parliamentary or government measures.
In order to shape discourse and policy, Salam DHR places a particular emphasis on strategic partnerships and on regional, national and intergovernmental legislative bodies. To this end, we closely engage with parliaments, including the European Parliament; the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) as well as a range of national parliaments in order to convey concern about human rights in Bahrain and to set out concrete recommendations.
In 2021 Salam DHR convened five online, participatory events. Such events routinely attracted around 100 participants. We issued 11 reports, including briefing papers; 19 statements and six opinion pieces. We recruited, trained and benefited from the engagement of 15 interns. In 2021, we helped shape the human rights discourse on Bahrain and, at times, in relation to statelessness in Kuwait through engagement with UN bodies, the EU’s External Action Service; other government representatives and through our partnership with like-minded organisations, acting in coalition with them.