Helsinki Watch
Helsinki Watch was a private American NGO
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

 devoted to monitoring Helsinki implementation throughout the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 bloc. It was created in 1978 to monitor compliance to the Helsinki Final Act (signed 1975). The group focused on the human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and human contacts portions of the Helsinki Agreement.

The United States-based Helsinki Watch group was inspired by Eastern European efforts such as the Moscow Helsinki Group
Moscow Helsinki Group
The Moscow Helsinki Group is an influential human rights monitoring non-governmental organization, originally established in what was then the Soviet Union; it still operates in Russia....

. In 1982, representatives of a number of the Helsinki Watch committees held an International Citizens Helsinki Watch Conference and formed the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights was a self-governing group of non-governmental, not-for-profit organizations that act to protect human rights throughout Europe, North America and Central Asia...


In 1988, Helsinki Watch evolved into Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

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