Supporting Human Rights When it Matters Most


November 25, 2016

Every morning, countless people around the world wake up to a job of confronting abuse, protecting rights and promoting dignity. And this work is incredibly diverse; each community uses tools and resources unique to their circumstances, fueling their activism with creativity and tenacity.

But what happens when an opportunity arises that activists didn’t expect? Or when an unforeseen threat endangers their work – or even their personal safety?

Human rights activism can be unpredictable and, at times, unsafe. Indeed, in this line of work, activists are often attacked, forced to flee their homes, and their property is vandalized.

There are also good surprises—like the unexpected opportunity to train community members on how to recognize and report domestic violence.

The Fund for Global Human Rights stands ready to support our grantees both in moments of tragedy and insecurity, as well as in times of new growth. This year alone, the Fund has made small grants that have big impact in these situations:

  • When a rights activist and his family were placed under surveillance, then interrogated and threatened, the Fund took measures to safely relocate these individuals.
  • In the wake of deadly attacks on their staff, the Fund provided resources for our grantees to testify about both their experiences and the state of LGBTI rights in Honduras. To protect themselves from future attacks, they installed security cameras and conducted security training for their staff.
  • Activists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo trained thirty volunteers on best practices for documenting rights abuses in their community. Using standardized forms, these volunteers are now able to consistently document and follow up on cases.

Human rights belong to all of us. That’s why showing up for human rights activists when they need us most is a key part of our mission.