Werner Lottje, German human rights pioneer, finally honored on 13 November in Berlin

November 11, 2013

If the coming days I am a bit less prolific with news on human rights defenders (maybe a welcome respite!) there is a good human rights reason: I will be in Berlin where on 13 November 2013 the first annual Werner Lottje Lecture will be inaugurated. It is an initiative by Bread for the World and the German Institute for Human Rights. As a good friend of Werner I am delighted to be allowed to speak about his enormous contribution to the human rights world as it is today:Werner Lottje (1946 – 2004) was the founder and  head of the human rights department for many years of the Social Service Agency of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and frequently reminded the church of its responsibility to protect human rights. Werner Lottje influenced human rights work nationally: He played a major part in founding the Human Rights Forum, the platform of civil-society human rights organizations in Germany, and promoted the foundation of the German Institute for Human Rights, becoming its first committee president. At the international level he was crucial in the founding or development of many organisations such as (not complete): the World Council of ChurchesHURIDOCS, International Alert, the International Service for Human Rights, OMCT and the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. Werner Lottje took big efforts to emphasize the cross-sectional function of human rights. Due to his courageous and non-bureaucratic commitment, many lives of human rights defenders could be saved. Moreover he encouraged many women and men in desperate situations to struggle for their, as well as other people’s rights and dignity. I may write more about Werner at a later stage but for now draw your attention to the event which those living near Berlin (starts 17h30) can attend. The venue is:  Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst, Caroline – Michaelis Str. 1, 10115 Berlin. (translation from German and Russian to English will be provided)

The Program looks as follows:

Dr. Julia Duchrow, Brot für die Welt

Introductory film – Werner Lottje: Networking for the protection of human rights

Dr. Klaus Seitz, Brot für die Welt:

Michael Windfuhr, German Institute for Human Rights

Thinking outside the box – Werner Lottje as an international networker

  • Hans Thoolen, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, Geneva
  • Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award 2013: Joint Mobile Group; Igor Kalyapin, Director
  • Margret Sekaggya,  Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the situation of human rights defenders

2 Responses to “Werner Lottje, German human rights pioneer, finally honored on 13 November in Berlin”

  1. Boven van Th (IR) Says:

    Dear Hans,

    This is excellent. Please convey my warm greetings and best wishes to all paying tribute to the memory of Werner !

    as ever, Theo


  2. […] Werner Lottje, German human rights pioneer, finally honored on 13 November in Berlin […]

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