How is human rights grantmaking defined?

The first step in analyzing the state of human rights funding was adopting a shared definition of human rights grantmaking. Under the guidance of an advisory committee composed of nine human rights funders, and in consultation with other human rights grantmakers and leading human rights activists, we adopted a definition that emphasizes funding in pursuit of structural change to ensure the protection and enjoyment of rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights treaties. Our research taxonomy includes 30 unique human rights categories grouped into 13 overarching issues, from "access to justice" to "freedom from violence."

Because these rights apply to all populations, regardless of individual characteristics such as gender or ethnicity, particular identity groups are not mentioned in our definition. However, human rights grantmaking addresses the root causes of injustice and inequality and has a special focus on – even duty to support – disadvantaged or marginalized groups. In recognition of this, our research explicitly tracks human rights funding for eight populations to offer insights on funding trends related to those communities.