Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Open Society Foundations

Open Society Foundations

Human Rights

Application Guidelines

The Human Rights and Governance Grants Program supports more than 100 human rights–related organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and Mongolia from its Human Rights Fund.

The mission of the Human Rights Fund is to ensure that there is at least one mainstream human rights advocacy NGO in each state of the region, capable of alerting the public to, and promoting government accountability for, human rights abuses through monitoring, litigation, and advocacy. Where such organizations exist, the fund provides both institutional and project support. In countries where national organizations do not exist, the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program takes a proactive approach to identifying partner organizations with which to cooperate on rights-related monitoring and litigation on the ground.

The fund supports organizations promoting political and civil rights at the local, national, or regional level. It also provides funding to several international organizations working in the region. Funding is principally targeted towards groups working on fundamental rights issues. The program also funds a number of specialized organizations working in critical areas such as the rights of Roma; detainees; women; the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community; and people with mental disabilities.

The program is one of the few sources in the region providing core institutional funding, which provides organizations with the flexibility to develop programming in line with their own strategic objectives, rather than in response to donor-driven priorities. The program is also one of the few grantors providing support for litigation to promote accountability.

In 2008, the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program introduced an additional element to its human rights–related grantmaking by identifying gaps in rights protection in the region and designing proactive funding strategies to address them. As a result, a new program on women’s rights is in place, as is a program on penal reform and the rights of detainees.

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