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We work for a future where justice is a shared right, not a privilege reserved for those with power.

Our Work

A group of people who are watching a UN court deliver its ruling on TV celebrate by either holding their arms aloft or putting their hands together in prayer.
Victims' relatives react to the sentencing of a former commander for war crimes during the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Potocari, Bosnia Herzegovina, on November 22, 2017. © Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty

Justice has always been recognized by the Open Society Foundations as the bedrock of sustainable peace and prosperity for us all. We work to redress abuses of power that undermine democratic practices and rights, and to secure equal rights and their recognition in law and policy for groups that face entrenched discrimination and prejudice.

We also work to promote democratic participation at all levels—and to support those who push back in the face of authoritarianism. At a global level, we support efforts to ensure that countries that represent most of the world’s population are given a commensurate voice in global governance.

Supporting Democratic Freedoms

Protestors marching in the street with a banner
People march against authoritarianism and racism amidst the coronavirus pandemic in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 14, 2020. © Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty

At a time when democracies are under pressure from authoritarian and anti-democratic forces, Open Society supports groups that speak out against the erosion of freedoms, as well as those who bravely dissent and resist in the face of repression, both at home and in exile.

Bringing War Criminals to Justice

Three people outdoors, reviewing paperwork on a clipboard
Police investigating war crimes in Irpin, Ukraine, on April 19, 2022. © Carol Guzy/Zuma/Newscom

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and before that the vicious civil war in Syria, have again challenged the world’s commitment to holding to account those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Open Society started funding international courts to respond to crimes in the Balkans and Rwanda in the 1990s. Today, we continue to support initiatives that seek to overcome political blockages placed in the way of justice for crimes committed in Syria, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere.

Fighting Racism and Exclusion

Two women speaking outside a house
A woman discusses her citizenship status with a paralegal activist, in Kanchanpur District, Nepal, on August 4, 2018. © Kishor Sharma/Majority World for the Open Society Foundations

We support groups around the world that represent and speak up for communities who face embedded racism and discrimination simply because of who they are or where they came from. This includes supporting movements combating institutional and structural racism, and advancing demands for reparations for unresolved historical and ongoing violence and injustice. We also work toward the fair treatment of refugees and migrants, as well as efforts to fight stigma against drug users that leads to criminalization and impoverishment.

Promoting Feminist Political Power

Around the world, women’s rights and LGBTQIA communities are under fire from conservative forces. We support groups that pursue a intersectional feminist agenda, including advancing reproductive justice and countering transnational attacks on sexual and reproductive health rights.

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