Graphic illustration of a police officer

Health

Arresting the Spread of HIV

In many countries, HIV rates are climbing among sex workers and people who use drugs. But a novel approach to law enforcement is changing this, and may prove as critical to HIV prevention as a condom or clean needle.
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In many countries, HIV rates are climbing among sex workers and people who use drugs. One of the main reasons is that they are criminalized. Too often sex workers and drug users are forced to choose between protecting their health and staying safe from police harassment or arrest. But a novel approach to law enforcement is changing this, and may prove as critical to HIV prevention as a condom or clean needle. Through partnerships with HIV experts and community groups, police such as those in Kyrgyzstan, depicted above, are playing a critical role in the fight against HIV.

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Image credit: Adam Rogers
Goodbye My Chechnya

Governance & Accountability

Caught in the Aftermath

As Chechnya struggles to rebuild in the aftermath of conflict, photographer Diana Markosian documents young women’s struggle with new, repressive laws.
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Students attend a gym class at School No. 1 in Serzhen-Yurt, Chechnya. After enduring the horrors of two wars, young Chechen women like these are now confronted by a period of peace marked by increasing oppression. This image is part of a series by photographer Diana Markosian, who aims to show how girls and young women are navigating their transition into adulthood in this context, and to honor their strength amidst the challenges they face.

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Image credit: © Diana Markosian/Reportage by Getty Images
A man boarding a plane.

Rights & Justice

A System in Crisis

Chronic human rights abuses are happening in the U.S. immigration detention system—at a $2 billion cost to taxpayers. Take a rare look inside.
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While chained in restraints, a migrant from Honduras boards a plane to be deported back home at the Phoenix airport in Arizona. Every day there are five to nine flights to Central America. Open Society grantees are working for a humane, common-sense immigration process.

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Image credit: © Kadir van Lohuizen/NOOR
Teacher giving instruction to students.

Education & Youth

Sharing Tools for Transformation

Everyone deserves to have choice in their lives. Advocates like Elizabeth Kamundia are building societies in which people with disabilities participate equally and with full respect for their human rights.
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Elizabeth Kamundia, an Open Society scholarship recipient, taught a seminar at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. The center is one of only a handful in academic organizations in Europe dedicated to the study of disability rights, and it is the only one with a dedicated program focusing on international disability law. The Open Society Foundations are working to include disability rights in more law schools’ curricula.

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Image credit: © Andrew Testa/Panos Pictures for the Open Society Foundations
Incarcerated men in a truck.

Media & Information

Visualizing Human Rights

We honor the brave and difficult work that photographers undertake to document complex social and political issues around the world.
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Every morning dozens of men and boys from the Pademba Road Prison in Freetown, Sierra Leone, are taken to court. This does not mean that they will be judged; it may be years until their trials end. Some youth may spend several years in Pademba Road Prison before receiving a sentence. In his series “Juveniles Waiting for Justice,” photographer Fernando Moleres tells the story of young men and boys confined in an adult prison, as a deeply flawed justice system takes over and determines their fate.

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Image credit: © Fernando Moleres

Home

Improve Lives.

We help protect and improve the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Think Broadly.

As we work to advance open society values, we learn and share our expertise.

Open Society Voices

A new U.S. drug czar should put his office’s weight behind international drug policy reform now. Whether he will is an open question.

The open internet is an essential condition of full and equal participation in the public sphere. This is why digital-rights groups, internet companies, and activists are uniting to protect net neutrality.

Events

Sep
22

After decades of orthodoxy and stringent enforcement of drug policies, the global counternarcotics regime is increasingly challenged.

Sep
22

Join two leading figures in the Arab arts world for a discussion about the role of art and artists across the Arab region and particularly in the context of the political turmoil of recent years.

Work Locally.

Our network of programs and regional foundations addresses key issues.

Programs

The Program on Independent Journalism enables independent media to deliver quality content for the public good by promoting freedom of expression, professional and ethical standards, watchdog journalism, and diverse voices.

The Regional Policy Initiative on Afghanistan & Pakistan provides targeted, expert research and advocacy support to address the unique challenges to open society values arising from conflict and insecurity in the region.

The Fiscal Governance Program works to ensure that public resources are used efficiently, effectively, and accountably to benefit those who need them most.