MacArthur has announced a grant of $1 million over two years to the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights to support its work on major international human rights issues.
This grant was made through the Foundation's Global Challenges area, which addresses international human rights issues and explores how the benefits of economic globalization may be equitably distributed.
"Through our support for organizations like the Lawyers Committee, we hope to create and sustain institutions that work in many parts of the world to provide infrastructure for the human rights field," said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. "It is through monitoring and documenting human rights abuses internationally and enhancing the capacities of local and national organizations to promote and protect human rights that standards gain increasing acceptance within nations and at the international level."
The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights was founded in 1978. It works with human rights activists at the local level; helps provide legal protection for refugees seeking asylum from persecution and repression; promotes fair economic practices by upholding safeguards for workers' rights; and helps build a strong international system of justice and accountability for the worst human rights crimes. The Lawyers Committee has been a key nongovernmental organization involved in the development of the International Criminal Court.
"Human rights are being seriously challenged in the U.S. and internationally," said Michael Posner, the Executive Director of the Lawyers Committee. "We will use this grant to strengthen and expand our efforts to hold governments accountable for enforcing international human rights standards."
In its human rights grantmaking, the Foundation supports U.S.-based human rights anchor institutions that provide a framework for the field as well as networks of human rights organizations in three countries where MacArthur has offices - Russia, Nigeria, and Mexico. Complementing this work, the Foundation also seeks to help improve the international justice system, particularly through support for efforts such as the International Criminal Court.