Fund for Global Human Rights: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Fund for Global Human Rights awards grants for work on a wide range of issues related to human rights, including land rights, women’s rights, war crimes accountability, and ending bonded labor.

IP TAKE: This funder takes a grassroots, boots-on-the-ground approach to its grantmaking. Large, slow-moving international human rights organizations need not apply here.

PROFILE: Founded in 2003, the Fund for Global Human Rights seeks to “[m]ove human rights forward by providing resources and tools to the people and organizations on the ground who have real potential to generate positive change.”  

The fund is specifically interested in the human rights space, but it does not limit its grantees to thematic restrictions—as long as its grantees work to “[c]hallenge the structures of power,” to advance human rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The fund does not award region-wide grants in its geographic areas of interest. Rather, it concentrates its efforts on supporting organizations working in specific countries within those regions.

To achieve its broad mission of advancing human rights, the fund has seven main grantmaking programs. Activism Under Threat supports frontline activists and includes grantmaking that challenges restrictive human rights laws, defends against violence and harassment, and provides security training. The Children’s Rights program focuses on Eradicating child labor, trafficking, and soldier recruitment are major points of interest for this program. Thefund’s Justice and Rule of Law prioritizes accountability for human rights abuses; supporting victims of torture and illegal detention; rebuilding justice systems in post-conflict countries; and policy reform. Its LGBTI, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program focuses on fighting for the rights of LGBTI communities in the fund’s geographic priority regions. The Resource Rights and Corporate Accountability supports organizations combating destructive mining practices; holding companies accountable for rights abuses; and advocating for greater government transparency. The Women’s Rights aims break the cycle of poverty by supporting groups working in women’s land rights; access to education, health care and employment; increased training for cases of violence against women; and encouraging women vote and run for political office. Finally, the fund’s Migrant's Rights program focuses on reducing violence towards migrants during their journeys; promoting migrant children's rights; and advocating for migrant policies that respect migrants' rights.

The Fund for Global Human Rights aims to remain flexible and responsive in its grantmaking. The fund overwhelmingly supports grassroots organizations that possess the comprehensive knowledge of the needs of the local areas in which they work and have the capacity for “accelerating progress on the ground.”

The fund also aims to be a long-term funder, and to provide unrestricted funding and multi-year support to its grantees. Grant amounts typically range from $5,000 to $30,000; however, the Fund has been known to go slightly above that threshold on occasion. The Fund for Global Human Rights also offers emergency and donor-advised grants. It does not accept unsolicited proposals at this time.


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