What is the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal?

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT), also known as the Human Rights Tribunal, is a civil society institution that was founded in Bologna in 1979. It is a direct continuation of the Russell Tribunals on Vietnam (1966-67) and Latin America (1973-76). The Russel Tribunals also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal, Russell-Sartre Tribunal, or Stockholm Tribunal, started with the investigation and evaluation of The United States foreign policy and military intervention.

Lelio Basso, who had been a member and speaker of the Tribunal, proposed that these celebrated tribunals be transformed into a permanent institution that could become an instrument and platform.

he aim of the tribunal is to give recognition, visibility and a voice to the peoples suffering violations of their fundamental human rights. This idea turned into the establishment of the Permanent People Tribunal, which serves as a platform for victims who, according to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, are marginalized in international law.

Since its establishment, over 40 sessions and judgments have been taken place all around the world. This development was only possible due to the Tribunal’s international network consisting of experts, social actors, activists and scholars from several countries of Europe, South America, Asia and Africa.

In its sessions and judgments, the Tribunal has accompanied the transformations and struggles of the post-colonial period, the development of economic neo-colonialism, globalization, the resurgence of war and the International Criminal Court’s declaration of non-competence for economic crimes.

What is the 45th Session of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal?

The 45th session of the PPT centres on the violation of human rights of migrants and refugees. 6 Hearings of the session have already taken place in Barcelona (2017, 2018), Palermo (2017), Paris (2018), London (2018) and Brussels (2019).

With the Berlin Hearing of the 45th session, we want to raise awareness for Human Rights violations with impunity in Germany and in the context of the European Border Regime and particularly in the field of health.  Migrants and refugees will be at the centre of the hearing as social actors, as witnesses and as part of migrant self-organisations working to change the conditions at the political level.

Why do we need such a Tribunal in Germany?

Since 2016, the political climate in Germany has deteriorated massively in relation to refugees and migrants. Asylum applications are being rejected more and more rigorously and sick, traumatised and pregnant people are being increasingly deported. The enforcement of the Human Rights of migrant and refugee peoples is often very difficult or even impossible within German and European courts. At the same time, we are currently witnessing a shift in our social discourse to the far right and an infringement of our democratic and social values. This political trend is accompanied by the introduction of increasingly repressive policies, which are not only directed against refugees but further threaten their support systems and solidarity structures.

The Corona Pandemic has intensified this situation: Without health insurance or valid residence documents, refugees and migrants are at high risk and fear of a possible infection with Covid-19.

In particular, mass accommodations in comparison to private homes exacerbate this risk of infection. Simultaneously deportations, even of vulnerable groups, are carried out to countries whose health systems and economies have been of poor quality before the crisis and have now largely collapsed.

How can I particpate?

  • Sign our appeal to become a supporter
  • Come forward as a witness to our charges
  • Collect testimonies for our indictment
  • Work with us, as part of our alliance
  • Raise awareness for our facebook-event and the tribunal in your community

In General: Inform and politicise!


Learn more about the Permanent Peoples‘ Tribunal and the right to health in the episodes of our podcast „Health is a Human Right

Episode 1: “Why health is a human right and how it is violated on a systematic basis” – with Transnational Institute


Episode 2: “For the right to health care for all migrants!”  – with Medibüro Berlin


Episode 3: “The Simplicity of Complicity – About Smuggling, Human Trafficking and EU Border Politics” – with Love146


Episode 4:Why the EU border regime makes people ill & how migration and solidarity are criminalised” – with borderline-europe e.V.


This Podcast was produced with the help of radioconnection Berlin: https://www.radioconnection-berlin.de/

Listen to our Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0xxu5dEIIjr0IUc9qCLIPb?si=52gUVygUSVS5UzSWHQvKew