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We work across issues, geographies, and disciplines to promote a comprehensive vision of human rights.
The Human Rights Initiative helps ensure that people can exercise their rights and seek redress for violations by supporting the strength and vitality of the global human rights movement.

Human Rights Initiative

The Human Rights Initiative supports advocates to promote justice, equality, and participation of all. We support some of the largest international human rights organizations, national advocacy organizations, and small and emerging groups working directly with those whose rights have been violated. 

We recognize that rights are not realized through law alone, that innovations in one field can unlock opportunities in others, and that experimentation and collaboration strengthen advocacy strategies. We take advantage of opportunities, working in places where there are prospects to advance human rights standards and protections while supporting efforts in those places where challenges to rights seem intractable. We support groups to engage directly in public discourse, recognizing that how people talk about rights is important to how those rights are realized in communities.

The Human Rights Initiative ensures that a diverse range of voices advocate for rights and fosters alliances through a combination of grantmaking, direct support to activists and advocacy.

Our work is organized around three broad goals:

  • Justice systems are fair and equitable, provide redress, and ensure access to justice for all. 
    While justice systems are supposed to be the arbiter of rights, too often they serve to preserve the interests of those in power at the expense of the marginalized.
  • Discrimination embedded in law, policy, and practice is uprooted. 
    Advancing equality is impossible as long as discriminatory laws and practices persist, preventing the full inclusion of marginalized groups.  
  • People are able to organize and participate in the policy debates that impact their rights. 
    Fundamental to an open society are public spaces where through activism, protest, and dissent, all people within society can demand their rights. 

We support civil society groups to engage at the international, regional, and national levels through a combination of advocacy, monitoring, documentation, legal advocacy, litigation, and campaigning to ensure that people can exercise their rights in the communities where they live.