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Offer: The World’s Top Ten Human Rights Organisations

The World’s Top Ten Human Rights Organisations

“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…
– Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Name: Amnesty International
Website: www.amnesty.org
Focus area: The objective of the organisation is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated
Beneficiaries: Amnesty reports disproportionately on relatively more democratic and open countries, arguing that its intention is not to produce a range of reports which statistically represents the world’s human rights abuses, but rather to apply the pressure of public opinion to encourage improvements.
Countries: Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.
Financing: Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It says that it does not accept donations from governments or governmental organisations. According to the AI website, “these personal and unaffiliated donations allow AI to maintain full independence from any and all governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions.
However, AI did receive grants from the UK Department for International Development, the European Commissionthe United States State Department.and other governments

Name: Global Rights
Website: www.globalrights.org
Focus area: Promote and protect the rights of marginalized populations through capacity building
Beneficiaries: Global Rights is an international human rights capacity-building non-governmental organization (NGO) that works side by side with local activists in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to promote and protect the rights of marginalized populations. Through broad-based technical assistance and training, they strengthen partners to document and expose human rights abuses, conduct community outreach and mobilization, advocate for legal and policy reform, and provide legal and programming.
At the core of their programming is a deep commitment to increase access to justice for poor and marginalizedgroups, promote women’s rights and gender equality, and advance ethnic and racial equality. In addition to this, they have two special initiatives—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex rights and natural resources and human rights—that allow them to explore new program areas while targeting populations that fit within their core legal services.
Countries: Africa, Asia and Latin America e.g, Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Morocco,Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Uganda
Financing: Global Rights is governed by a seventeen-member board of directors comprising senior lawyers, journalists, and academics and operated by a 70-member staff, two-thirds of whom work outside the United States

Name: Human Right watch
Website: www.hrw.org
Focus areas: Human rights activism
Beneficiaries: Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch opposes violations of what it considers basic human rights, which include capital punishment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Human Rights Watch advocates freedoms in connection with fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion and the press.
Human Rights Watch produces research reports on violations of international human rights norms as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it perceives to be other internationally accepted human rights norms. These reports are used as the basis for drawing international attention to abuses and pressuring governments and international organizations to reform.
Countries: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, United States
Finances: The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year. The $100 million contribution from the Open Society Foundation will be paid out over ten years in $10 million annual installments.

Name: International Committee of the Red Cross
Website: www.icrc.org
Focus area: The official mission statement says that: “The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance.” It also directs and coordinates international relief and works to promote and strengthen humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
Beneficiaries: The foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers, Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers, The utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield and The organization.
Countries: The ICRC operates in over 80 countries with a total number of 11,000 employed people worldwide. The extensive network of missions and delegations of the ICRC can relieve Nations that are affected by armed conflicts and other sources of violence. In 2013 the ten largest operations worldwide are Pakistan, Mali/Niger, Afghanistan,Yemen, Iraq, Colombia, Somalia, Israel, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan.
Finances: All payments to the ICRC are voluntary and are received as donations based on two types of appeals issued by the Committee: an annual Headquarters Appeal to cover its internal costs and Emergency Appeals for itsindividual missions. Most of the ICRC’s funding comes from Switzerland and the United States, with the other European states and the EU close behind. Together with Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand, they contribute about 80–85% of the ICRC’s budget. About 3% comes from private gifts, and the rest comes from national Red Cross societies.

Name: International Federation for Human Rights
Website: www.fidh.org
Focus area: Protect human rights defenders, ensure effective human rights, and justice for all, globalisation with due respect for human rights.
Beneficiaries: The foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers, Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers, The utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield and The organization.
Countries: 178 human rights organisations in more than 100 countries. FIDH provides training and assists in creating opportunities for dialogue with authorities. From 2004 to 2005, FIDH undertook such programs in 32 countries in Africa, 16 in Latin America, 3 in Asia and 10 in the North Africa/Middle Eastern region.
Finances: FIDH’s total income in 2012 was €5,362,268 (nearly US$7.1m), of which approximately 80% came from “grants and donations”. “FIDH relies heavily on donations from the public and from private businesses, contributions from its member organizations and on the commitment of its voluntary workers. It also receives grants from international and national bodies, and from foundations …”

Name: Norwegian Refugee Council
Website: www.nrc.no
Focus area: The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC, Norwegian: Flyktninghjelpen) is a humanitarian, non-governmental organisation which promotes and protects the rights of people affected by displacement. This includes refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, human rights violations and acute violence, as well as climate change and natural disasters.
Beneficiaries: NRC is politically independent and has no religious affiliation. NRC is also the only Norwegian organisation that specialises in international efforts to provide assistance, protection and durable solutions for people affected by displacement. NRC’s employs approximately 3500 staff members in 20 countries throughout Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. NRC headquarters is located in Oslo with about 170 employees. Additionally the organisation has a presence in Brussels, Geneva, Addis Ababa and Dubai.
Countries: NRC is currently present in around 20 countries worldwide. We have projects running in countries in Africa, America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In addition we maintain offices in Norway, Switzerland and Belgium.
Finances: Major donors include the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO); Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA); Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Name: Refugees International
Website: www.refugeesinternational.org/
Focus area: Advocating for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. Media attention,advocating,research through missions to locations of displacement
Beneficiaries: Refugees International is an independent humanitarian organization that advocates for better supportfor displaced people (including refugees and internally displaced people) and stateless people. It does not accept any United Nations or government funding. It publishes longer reports, as well as approximately twenty-five field reports throughout the year on displacement issues, as well as comments on international aid issues around the world.
Countries: Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia,South Sudan, Sudan

Name: UN Watch
Website: www.unwatch.org
Focus areas: Monitoring the United Nations, Promoting Human Rights
Beneficiaries: UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. UN Watch was established in 1993 by the legendary civil rights activist Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. UN Watch participates actively at the UN as an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). It reports regularly to both.
Countries: UN Watch believes in the United Nations’ mission on behalf of the international community to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and provide for a more just world. We believe that even with its shortcomings, the UN remains an indispensable tool in bringing together diverse nations and cultures. UN Watch is keenly aware that member states often ask the UN to fulfill mandates and tasks that are neither feasible nor within the means provided. While it would be unrealistic to ignore the UN’s weaknesses, we advocate finding ways to build on its strengths and use its limited resources effectively.
Finances: UN Watch receives no financial support from any government. We rely on the generosity of charitable donations.

Name: Human Rights Foundation
Website: www.humanrightsfoundation.org
Focus area: “To ensure that freedom is both preserved and promoted.” The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies
Beneficiaries: The Human Rights Foundation mission is to “unite people in the common cause of defending human rights and promoting liberal democracy. Our mission is to ensure that freedom is both preserved and promoted”.
Finances: HRF states that donations are accepted “with a categorical understanding that the foundation is free to research and investigate regardless of where such investigations may lead or what conclusions HRF may reach.” If an individual or foundation has contributed to HRF’s work, this does not mean that HRF necessarily endorses said individual or foundation’s views or opinions. HRF does not publish all the names of their donors, saying that some of donors fear retaliation, others are concerned about being approached for donations, and others may disagree with HRF.

Name: Protection International
Website: http://www.protectioninternational.org
Focus area: Protection International (PI) is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs). Its stated mission is to enhance the security and the protection of “threatened civil society actors with non-violent means, especially those who fight for their legitimate rights and for the rights of others as they are guaranteed by the international humanitarian law and the human rights conventions”
Beneficiaries: Protection International provides tools and strategies to people who defend human rights, in order to protect themselves. We support individuals, organisations, networks, and communities whose right to defend human rights is being violated through threats, judicial harassment, stigmatisation, or other forms of repression.
Countries: Over the years, Protection International has received requests for immediate and long-term support from human rights defenders in over forty countries. Asia, Africa and Latin America, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ingushetia, Serbia,Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand
Finances: Protection International is an international, non-profit organisation that brings protection strategies and security management tools to human rights defenders at risk. Since 2004, Protection International has been working with local partners in over thirty countries throughout the world.
Protection International envisions a world where human rights and fundamental freedoms are universally recognized and respected, and where everyone has the right to defend these rights and freedoms without fear of threats or attack.

Article by Ambreen Muzaffar

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