Since 1948 the global community has developed an extensive body of international law and principles to protect human rights. But the development and implementation of these standards has always faced opposition. There remains a gulf between human rights rhetoric and the lived experience of so many people. We seek to close that gap.


Oak Trustees have a long-standing interest in protecting the fundamental rights of the individual, supporting those who champion that struggle, and ensuring that perpetrators of gross abuses are held to account.


Find out more about our Programme strategy here.



© William Meyer

In this introductory video, the IHRP’s director, Adrian Arena, talks about the work of the programme and the key challenges that they are facing today.

In 2017 the International Human Rights Programme made 55 grants totalling USD 25.16 million.

Our funding principles

Our grant-making is underpinned by the following;


Upholding the international legal framework

We support work that is based upon and seeks to uphold, strengthen and implement international human rights law;


Promoting systemic change

We prioritise initiatives that seek to deliver concrete systemic change beyond individual redress;


Supporting activism
We support initiatives that seek to create change through activism (for example, advocacy campaigning and strategic litigation);


Strengthening our partners

Our grant-making is a partnership. We empower and build the capacity of our partners; and


Strengthening the global human rights movement

We support and mobilise diverse constituencies in support of human rights worldwide.


The IHRP works internationally at the global, regional and national levels. We fund directly in the EU (including the UK), the US, Brazil, Russia, India and Myanmar. There is very limited capacity to expand our geographic coverage. Exceptionally, we sometimes work with intermediary organisations in those geographies where there is potential to advance specific lines of work where we are not currently active.




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Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.


Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.