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The Open Society Foundations Announce Significant Support for Colombian Human Rights Group

BOGOTÁ—The Open Society Foundations announced they will provide an important contribution to Dejusticia, a Bogotá-based advocacy and legal think tank whose mission is to strengthen the rule of law and promote social justice and human rights. To help support Dejusticia’s priorities and strategy, the organization will receive $2.6 million and commit to raising $7.4 million from other donors and sources before 2025. Open Society will provide matching funds at a one-to-one ratio.

“Dejusticia has some of the brightest legal minds in Latin America,” Pedro Abramovay, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Open Society, said. “They are very skilled at combining litigation and research with other tools to bring justice to some of the region’s most excluded groups: from victims of Colombia’s internecine conflict to young people seeking to halt climate change.”

Founded by law professors in 2005, Dejusticia’s goal is to bridge the gap between academic research and human rights practice—namely, that legal and social science research should be used to change public policy and create a more just society.

“The organization is humbled by this opportunity to contribute to the human rights cause by serving as a vehicle for action, reflection, and impactful collaboration among human rights organizations around the world,” Vivian Newman, Dejusticia’s acting executive director, said. “In light of the challenges of authoritarian populism, rising inequality, and premature talk about the supposed end of human rights, we will promote effective ideas and practical responses to those challenges, and add strength and hope to the human rights movement at the national, regional, and global level.”

Dejusticia will use Open Society’s contributions to fund its core operations. First, it plans to consolidate advocacy and communications expertise and build a sense of cohesion among human rights activists in the Global South by creating a fellowship program to foster exchanges and provide a place to work for colleagues persecuted in their home countries.

Dejusticia will also create and operate a school of human rights practice in Bogotá, which will provide opportunities for activists in Colombia and the Global South, to collaborate and develop new skills needed to rise to the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Finally, in the face of financial and technological risks, Dejusticia will enhance its resilience by strengthening its capacity to safeguard its communications and work, and increase its financial reserves.

“These funds will go a long way toward building a new generation of human rights activism,” Emily Martinez, director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Open Society Foundations, said. “Dejusticia is one of the most exciting human rights organizations in Latin America, transforming the human rights movement through innovation, solidarity, and reflection.”

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