Support for international non-governmental organisations to promote human rights in developing countries

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 17.82 million to international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) for 2022–2024. Support was granted to 11 international human rights organisations operating in developing countries, whose work focuses on four themes: ending impunity; supporting human rights defenders; strengthening the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and addressing discriminatory practices; and business and human rights.

Funding international NGOs promotes the objectives of Finland’s human rights-based foreign and security policy and development policy. 

“Civil society plays a key role in promoting human rights worldwide. By supporting human rights organisations, we can reach representatives of vulnerable groups and bring their voices to the attention of the UN Human Rights Council, of which Finland will be a Member for the term 2022–2024. Achieving results requires both joint advocacy and funding,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari

It is important for Finland to promote the rights of persons in a vulnerable position. The partnerships lay stress on the rights of women and girls, human rights defenders, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities and indigenous peoples. The increasing importance of business activities in the realisation of human rights is also reflected in the work of the supported organisations. 
“Finland promotes responsible business conduct both nationally and internationally. It is important that companies respect human rights both in their own activities and in their business relationships. Organisations supported by Finland play a key role as partners for business, in supporting human rights defenders and in highlighting companies’ human rights impacts,” Skinnari says.

Discretionary government grants have been awarded to the following organisations:

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,000,000. ICTJ is an organisation focusing transitional justice, which intervenes in the legacy of human rights violations in states recovering from different conflicts and periods of repression. ICTJ’s work lays a foundation for peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,991,600. The ICJ promotes the development of human rights norms at global level and the implementation of human rights obligations in its focus countries. Finland supports a project that promotes the rule of law in Colombia, Myanmar, Nepal, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,720,371. ISHR is an international human rights organisation, which exercises influence in international human rights forums to improve the status of human rights defenders. ISHR also supports human rights defenders in developing countries to strengthen their skills and knowledge of human rights norms.

Front Line Defenders(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,500,000. Front Line Defenders strengthens the position and protection of human rights defenders. Finland supports a project that addresses the increase in killings of human rights defenders, harassment against women human rights defenders, digital attacks as well as threats facing human rights defenders working on issues involving businesses.

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,300,000. The OMCT works with more than 200 member organisations to end torture and inhuman treatment and to support human rights defenders.

Access Now(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,755,415. Access Now defends the digital rights of users at risk. Finland supports a project that protects human rights defenders through the development of digital security, material support, advocacy and legal work.

International Disability Alliance (IDA)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 2,145,000. IDA represents more than a thousand organisations promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Finland supports a project that aims to promote the economic, social and cultural rights of persons with disabilities in Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.

Minority Rights Group (MRG)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 2,124,770. MRG works to safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups around the world. Finland supports a project tackling discrimination that prevents full realisation of the economic, social and cultural rights of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities.

ILGA World: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,800,000. ILGA World is a worldwide federation advocating the rights of sexual and gender minorities with a network of members in over 100 countries. Finland supports a project that focuses on preventing persons belonging to sexual and gender minorities from being excluded from education, employment, housing and health services.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC)(layout.types.url.description), EUR 949,914. BHRRC is an organisation dedicated to advancing human rights in business. Finland supports a project that promotes human rights activities in renewable energy companies and mining companies supplying materials for renewable energy technology. The project is carried out in Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique. 

International Alert(layout.types.url.description), EUR 1,582,326. International Alert is an organisation focusing on peacebuilding. Finland supports a project that focuses on improving the operating environment for business and human rights to help resolve conflicts in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Support for international non-governmental organisations(layout.types.url.description)


Email to [email protected]

Tarja Kangaskorte, Director, Unit for Human Rights Policy, Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 292

Annamari Tornikoski, Senior Adviser for Development Policy (Human Rights), Unit for Human Rights Policy, Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 105

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]