The Icelandic Human Rights Center was founded on 17 June 1994 by nine organizations and institutions working in various fields of human rights, in conjunction with constitutional reform in Iceland. Partners today are the Icelandic Red Cross Society, the Icelandic Section of Amnesty International, the Bishop’s Office of the Lutheran Church (the national church of Iceland), the Icelandic Church Aid, the National Federation for the Aid of the Disabled, the Office for Gender Equality, the Organisation of Disabled in Iceland, Save the Children, UNIFEM, the Women’s Rights Association, the Association of ‘78 (Association of homosexuals), Sidmennt (the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association), the University of Reykjavík and the University of Akureyri.
The purpose and aim of the Icelandic Human Rights Centre is to promote human rights by collecting information on and raising awareness of human rights issues in Iceland and abroad. The Centre works to make human rights information accessible to the public by organising conferences and seminars on human rights and by providing human rights education. In addition, the Centre serves a monitoring role and has, since its inception, commented on dozens of bills of law and provided information to international monitoring bodies on the state of human rights in Iceland. Furthermore, the Centre works in international for a, i.e. NGO-coalition for an optional protocol to the international convention on economic, social and cultural rights, Association of Human Rights Institutes, the Human Rights Education Project. The Centre works closely with its partner organisations in the Nordic countries.