Environmental defenders, whose work often includes land and resource rights, the rights of indigenous communities, and both state and nonstate threats to healthy environments, are among the human rights defenders most at risk. A report by Global Witness states that Latin America is the most dangerous region, and Honduras the most dangerous country, for environmental defenders. Of the 185 killed worldwide in 2015, 122 were in Latin America, while in Honduras 12 were killed in 2014 alone.
December 10, 2016 By James Savage, Program Officer at the Fund for Global Human Rights, and Iva Dobichina at Open Society Foundations. This post originally appeared in the Guardian; article reposted with permission. In 2018 we will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which recognises the role and guarantees the […]
The global governance frameworks around counterterrorism and international development have framed the role, value and impact of civil society as a critical ally but also, more recently, as a threat. At best, donor governments have acknowledged civil society as a key partner in fostering development, peace and security. At worst, some aid recipient governments have sought to limit the role of development and human rights groups only to delivering public services, or they view civil society as an enabler for funding terrorist groups. Yet there are opportunities for civil society actors to use counterterrorism and development policies and processes to their advantage.
Over the past several years, internationally engaged foundations have faced unprecedented challenges from governments around the world. This is just one element of the ‘closing space’ or the ‘disabling environment’ for international philanthropy. Whatever you name it, there are forces at work that are challenging the very existence of civil society.
Dozens of governments are adopting means to limit the activities of NGOs and impede their access to foreign funds. Beijing, for example, just passed a law that restricts the activities of foreign NGOs and subjects them to police investigation. Unfortunately, the Chinese communist party is just one of many governments to do so. Indeed, this law is part of a robust, international trend of similar legislation implemented by politicians that fear the interference of foreigners as well as civil society’s unprecedented capacity to mobilize — which is due in part to new technologies.
“Challenging the Closing Space for Civil Society – A Practical Starting Point for Funders” is a resource produced by Ariadne, the European Foundation Centre, and the International Human Rights Funders Group for funders on responding to the closing space phenomenon. This resource is drawn from a document written by our Poonam Joshi, Director of the […]
Members of the Ariadne-IHRFG Donor Working Group on Cross-Border Philanthropy, including Fund staff David B. Mattingly and Poonam Joshi, discuss the worrying trend around the world of legislation that puts restrictions on funding and narrows the space for civil society organizations.
Namusobya Salima Executive Director of Fund Grantee Initiative for Social and Economic Rights is published in the Health and Human Rights Journal. Read her article on health rights litigation in Uganda.
Over the course of our first ten years, the Fund for Global Human Rights had a profound impact on a broad range of issues, across eighteen different countries, at hundreds of organizations and for countless people around the world. In recognition of the remarkable progress we’ve achieved after ten years, we are proud to share […]
Ana Paula Hernandez, Program Officer for Latin America, is published in the Sur International Journal on Human Rights. Read her article on the Fund's grant-making strategy in Mexico.