Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Human Rights

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Fulfilling the rights that belong to all people depends upon an active and engaged community and public officials and institutions committed to the inherent dignity and worth of every person.

Why It Matters

Fundamental human rights are required for people to achieve their full potential and contribute to society.

Our efforts to ensure human rights for all at the global, regional and national levels are based on the premise that for societies to advance the value of every citizen must be recognized and each citizen's right to equal opportunity must be secured and upheld.

The Focus of Our Work

We focus on securing equal rights and opportunity for all. We support efforts to help vulnerable populations gain access to the social, political and cultural institutions that govern their rights. This work includes:

  • Strengthening organizations and mechanisms that enforce human rights
  • Monitoring the policies and practices of institutions that affect the well-being of individual citizens
  • Supporting legal and advocacy efforts to establish and retain basic civil, economic and social rights
  • Ensuring civil and criminal justice systems are fair, effective, accessible and nondiscriminatory.

Our work concentrates on the world's most marginalized groups, which are among the poorest and most vulnerable in every society, and which face some of the severest forms of discrimination:

  • Women
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Immigrant communities
  • People living with HIV/AIDS
Grants 2015
Initiative Approved* No. of Grants Avg. Grant*
Total $18,611,312 37 $503,008
Advancing Racial Justice and Minority Rights 1,850 5 370,000
Internet Rights 10,865 12 905,417
Protecting Immigrant and Migrant Rights 501 3 166,887
Reforming Civil and Criminal Justice Systems 1,161 5 232,130
Strengthening Human Rights Worldwide 4,235 12 352,917
*US $ In Thousands



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