Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are free-standing, independent organisations that are sometimes called civil society organisations. Many of them work to directly influence individual governments. NGOs working for human rights often document and publicise abuses to get other people to react. Both international and national NGOs, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, play an important role in human rights work.
The work of NGOs
NGOs work in different ways. Many work to directly influence individual governments and/or international bodies. Furthermore, they often work to document and publicise abuses to get other people to react. Many NGOs have recognised status in the UN and the Council of Europe, where they contribute valuable experience from their work in the field. The work of local NGOs is very important for the development of human rights in individual countries.
NGOs play an essential role as pressure groups. They have pushed for decisions on new standards and for better monitoring. Swedish government representatives benefit considerably from their continuous contacts with representatives of these organisations. A large proportion of Swedish development assistance for human rights is channelled via Swedish, international and foreign national NGOs, such as Save the Children.