Who we are

The Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, established in 1990. APADOR-CH’s Mission is to take action for the protection of human rights and the establishment of equilibrium when they are in danger or infringed upon.

APADOR-CH’s Values are: competence, professionalism, visibility, transparency, standards and ethic concerning the respect for the following values: its own capital, integrity, fairness, impartiality, honesty, objectivity, responsibility and good faith both within APADOR-CH and with third parties.

APADOR–CH’s Vision: A society in which human rights are respected. For everyone, always.

What we do

For 2018-2020, APADOR-CH’s strategic objectives are:

    • The development of efficient legal and institutional mechanisms for respecting human rights and monitoring relevant institutions;
    • The improvement of the legislative framework and of the practices regarding the right to free assembly and association, freedom of expression, right to private life;
    • The development of practices and institutional mechanisms for increasing transparency and good governance;
    • Reacting to human rights threats;
    • Public authority intimations and the initiation of strategic litigation in cases which deal with infringement upon human rights;
    • Priority monitoring of:
      • Police abuses;
      • Regulations and practices in the field of national security which have an impact on human rights;
      • Regulations and practices concerning deprivation of liberty.
How we do it

– draft comments on, and recommendations to amend laws/draft bills with an impact on civil rights and liberties
– carry out fact-finding missions – in places of detention (prisons, police arrests) and other places where there are indications of gross human rights violations;
– carry out fact-finding missions when there are indications of breaches of the right to life, the right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to liberty and security of the person;
– carry out strategic litigation before domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights
initiate and carry out awareness raising campaigns on human rights issues;
maintain a constant dialogue with competent public authorities and institutions;
provide information for persons wanting to send applications to the European Court of Human Rights;
– carry out any other relevant activity.
– APADOR-CH carries out it’s activity mainly in Romania but also seeks to develop projects in the wider area (Republic of Moldova, West Balkans, Black Sea region).

By the end of 2020 APADOR-CH is the main human rights organization in Romania, recognized both at the national and international level as a partner of reference for authorities, civil society, press, international organisms and organizations. It reacts rapidly to challenges in the field and is pro-active in promoting human rights. It has a dedicated team of professionals and volunteers. It has the necessary resources for sustainability and development


The Activity of the APADOR-CH, 2018

Read the APADOR-CH’s report of activity 2018

The Board members of APADOR-CH:

Marian Ursan
Marian Ursan is a member of the Board since May 2014. He holds a PhD in Sociology and is a university assistant and researcher within the University of Bucharest. He is a human rights activist, advocating for 18 years on HIV/AIDS issues and support services for vulnerable and marginalized groups. He is one of the founders of Carusel Association, which is an organization that seeks to create an active, proactive and reactive environment in order to promote and defend human rights

Ștefan Voinea
Ștefan Voinea is an IT expert with experience in the development of nation-wide software solutions for the Romanian healthcare system. Stefan founded the Gazeta de Sud Foundation in 2006 and he has more than 10 years of experience in developing social projects in the fields of healthcare, environment and education. Stefan is a fellow of the U.S. Department of State Community Solutions Program and winner of the 2016 Romanian Google Editors Lab hackathon with the theme “New Ways to Cover Public Health Care”

Laura Orlescu
Laura Orlescu is a member of the Board of APADOR-CH since October 2019. She is executive director of the International Documentary Film and Human Rights Film Festival, One World Romania, a project she has been working on since 2016. She has a degree in sociology, with a specialization in communication, PR and Project management. Laura has a varied experience, over ten years, in the non-governmental activity in the field of human rights, education and journalism, carried out both in Romania and in other countries.

The team of APADOR-CH:

Georgiana Gheorghe - executive director
Georgiana Gheorghe has a B.A in political science (University of Bucharest) and a master in international human rights law from the Legal Studies Department of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She joined APADOR-CH in 2007 and has been engaged in civil society work for over 12 years, working for non-governmental organizations in Romania, Hungary and Latvia. Starting with November 2018 she is the executive director of APADOR-CH. 

Dan Mihai - legal expert
Dan Mihai is a legal expert and member of the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania-the Helsinki Committee from 2001. His areas of expertise are: criminal law,  institutional transparency, access to information of public interest, freedom of expression. 
Nicoleta Popescu - lawyer
Nicoleta Popescu is a member and expert of APADOR-CH since 2003 and a member of the Bar since 2004. In the past 10 years she has been working on a wide range of casses dealing with: civil law, labour law and administrative law. She also has expertise in Human Rights Law. She won her first case before the ECtHR in 2004 and since then she won a total of 18 casses and has 20 other pending casses before the ECtHR. Since 2008 she also holds trainigs for future magistrates on ECtHR. For more information please visit her site.
Silvia Gheorghe - financial director
Silvia Gheorghe is a graduate of the Faculty of Finances and Accounting, since 1993. She joined APADOR-CH in September 1996. She is responsible with bookeeping and overseeing financial and accounting obligations of the association.
Dollores Benezic - communication
Dollores was a journalist, between 1994-2012, published in national newspapers such as „Curierul național”, „Cotidianul”, „Evenimentul zilei”, has worked with  Esquire România, Green report or international publications such as Al Jazeera. Since 2012 she started working with APADOR-CH, as a volunteer, involved particularly in the communication area. She helped revitalize the image of APADOR-CH through better dissemination of information about the association’s projects and a constant presence online. From June 2013 has become a regular contributor for APADOR-CH, besides communication area she is involved in multi-annual programs of the association, such as monitoring of human rights in prisons and arrests.
Crina Moise - office assistant
 Crina Moise is graduate from the University of Bucharest and began the collaboration with APADOR -CH in April 2015 in the position of Office Asistant. In the last 4 years she worked with NGOs that were attended inmates and people with disabilities. 
Livia Popa - legal officer

Livia Popa graduated Law School (University of Bucharest) in 2014 and she has a master degree in International Public Law since 2017. Passionate about social justice and humanitarian aid she engaged in many volunteering activities and she has been working in the NGO field for 3 years. She joined APADOR-CH team since March 2019. 

Financial supporters

During our over 20 years of activity we received financial support from:

Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme

Swiss Embassy in Bucharest

Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Bucharest (Program MATRA-KAP)



Multicultural Diversity Resource Center Cluj

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

European Commission – PHARE Program

European Council

European Commission Delegation in Bucharest

Freedom House

German Marshall Fund of the United States

Global Ministries of the Uniting Churches

Flemish Government through the Department of Vrije Universiteit Brussels law

Dutch Government through the Netherlands Helsinki Committee

U.S. Government through the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest

Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights

High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations

J.M. Kaplan Fund

Kerk In Actie

Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities –Neki

Mama Cash

Governments of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism

European Economic Area

Mensen in Nood/Caritas

National Endowment for Democracy

Open Society Institute

Open Society Justice Initiative

The Global Fund for Women

Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

United States Agency For International Developement /World Learning For International Developement