The Ford Foundation has announced the first round of grants through a new five-year, $50 million initiative to deepen and diversify the global human rights movement.
Announced on Nelson Mandela International Day — the South African leader's ninety-fourth birthday — the initiative is designed to bolster new and established human rights organizations in the Southern Hemisphere. To that end, the foundation awarded grants of $1 million to organizations it believes are poised to make the leap to the world stage and contribute to a broader, more inclusive dialogue on the rights issues facing the world's poorest and most marginalized people.
The grantees are the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development in Bangkok; Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad in Bogota, Colombia; Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales in Buenos Aires; Conectas Direitos Humanos in São Paulo; Justiça Global in Rio de Janeiro; the Nairobi-based Kenya Human Rights Commission; and the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"The seminal and enormously successful human rights groups that Ford has funded for decades — Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and many others — are more important today than ever," said Ford Foundation president Luis A. Ubi�as. "What today's grants recognize is how powerful the idea of human rights has become in every corner of the world, and how much growth there has been in recent years among rights organizations in the South. We need to bring those Southern Hemisphere voices into the global human rights dialogue."