Human Rights Grants Program (HRGP) Overview

Speeches Shim

Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

The HRGP was established with the creation of the new DRG Center in February 2012, as “human rights” was elevated as a co-equal pillar alongside democracy and governance. The program assists with the development of human rights programs, including innovative projects that respond to urgent or unanticipated human rights needs of emerging opportunities as well as to encourage cooperation with local and regional organizations, and to enable Missions to respond to urgent human rights problems through stand-alone programs or by integrating human rights objectives into current programs and those under design, regardless of sector.

For the past three years the HRGP has provided $19.2 million to address the most urgent Human Rights challenges in over 25 different countries. In FY11 ($3,000,000) and FY12 ($8,100,000) this has included Bosnia, DRC, Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda, Zambia, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, and the Asia Regional Mission. In 2013, the HRGP fund was able to rapidly respond to the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine and Venezuela with a fund of $1,250,000. This capability has ensured the United State’s prioritization of protection and promoting human rights in these countries struggling and fighting for democratic change. Additionally, a total of $6,850,000 is yet to be awarded to 13 new projects this year.

"Human Rights include the right to be free from violations of physical integrity (such as torture, slavery and illegal detention); the collective rights of all citizens to enjoy political rights and civil liberties; and equality of opportunity and non-discriminatory access to public goods and services.

Examples of HRGP Funded Activities

Egypt: The first grant promoted community mobilization and engagement, particularly among youth groups, against human trafficking, and increased non-governmental organization (NGO) coordination while expanding and improving victim services. A second grant supported and expanded on existing local initiatives aimed at combatting sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), focusing on awareness-raising and provision of legal, medical, and psychological support to victims.

Jordan: Activities focused on the reduction of early marriage, human trafficking, child labor, and SGBV through awareness-raising campaigns targeting both Syrian refugees and host communities currently impacted by the influx of Syrians into Jordan.

Uganda: Advanced transitional justice by documenting, reporting, and taking steps to prosecute crimes committed against women and girls during the conflict in the north. The project will provide baseline assessment data for USAID that can be used for future

DRG Center Human Rights Priorities:

  • Atrocity Prevention
  • Transitional Justice
  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Assistance to Vulnerable Populations
  • Assistance to Human Rights Defenders and Institutions
  • Monitoring and Documentation of Human Rights Abuses