Human Rights Foundation

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The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization whose stated mission "is to ensure that freedom is both preserved and promoted" in the Americas.[1] The Human Rights Foundation was founded in 2005 by Thor Halvorssen.

HRF adheres to the definition of human rights as put forth in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), believing that all individuals are entitled to the right to speak freely, the right to worship in the manner of their choice, the right to freely associate with those of like mind, the right to acquire and dispose of property, the right to leave and enter their country, the right to equal treatment and due process under law, the right to be able to participate in the government of their country, freedom from arbitrary detainment or exile, freedom from slavery and torture, and freedom from interference and coercion in matters of conscience.

HRF (USA) has a branch in Bolivia: HRF-Bolivia. The two organizations have no overlapping board members and are loosely affiliated.[2]

Activities

  1. Provide election observers[3]
  2. Advocate "humanitarian intervention" or its analogue: "Responsibility to Protect" doctrines.[4]
  3. Fund documentary films[5]
  4. Fund books [6]
  5. Issue press releases on human rights abuses
  6. Declaring select persons to be "political prisoners" or "prisoners of conscience"[7]
  7. Organizing the Oslo Freedom Forum
  8. Organizing humanitarian appeal campaigns[8]
  9. Issue press releases criticizing human rights conferences or initiatives by other organizations, e.g., the United Nations Durban III conference.[9]

From HRF's press releases[10] it is evident that the bulk of its activities deal with condemning or issuing statements critical of the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba. HRF tends to focus on the "human rights" abuses against opposition politicians, journalists, bloggers, and the like, in these countries.

Staff and Principals

Board of Directors

Board of Advisors

International Council

Funding

In 2009 HRF received a $35,000 grant from the Bradley Foundation,[38] as it had in 2007.[39] In 2007, HRF received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation for $171,600[40] toward a program called "The Nobility of the Human Spirit and the Power of Freedom", a grant from the Sarah Scaife Foundation for $100,000[41] toward general operations and $20,000 from the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation.[42] In 2009 HRF organised a human rights event in Oslo, Norway, under the name Oslo Freedom Forum. The event was supported by a grant for $34,000 from the government of Norway.[43]

Criticism

Contact

Human Rights Foundation
350 Fifth Avenue, #4515
New York, NY 10118
Phone: (212) 246-8486
info@thehrf.org
www.thehrf.org or www.humanrightsfoundation.org

Other SourceWatch Resources

References

  1. Mission, Human Rights Foundation, 22 June 2009
  2. HRF Bolivia was established in March 2007 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the region that sought to split from the rest of Bolivia following Morales' victory[1]. None of HRF-Bolivia's directors appear on the board or council of the main HRF organization in the U.S. HRF-Bolivia has issued several reports on human rights abuses in Bolivia. HRF Bolivia is not related officially with the New York based Human Rights Foundation. References: Después de Goni, van más de 50 muertos, El Deber, 12 October 2008; and Human Rights denuncia a Morales por persecución, La Razon, 12 October 2008. Also: [http://www.lostiempos.com/diario/opiniones/columnistas/20071023/la-retoma-de-viru-viru_21313_26087.html La retoma de Viru Viru, Los Tiempos, 23 October 2007.
    Some of the principals of HRF-Bolivia were oppositionist politicians to the Morales government, e.g., Hugo Achá, the president of HRF-Bolivia, was accused by Bolivian authorities of links with an armed insurrectionist group.
  3. HRF provided international observers during the during the Santa Cruz autonomy referendum in 2008 where political forces threatened to cecede/declare autonomy of the mineral rich region in opposition to the election of Evo Morales. Observadores destacan el trabajo de la Corte, Eldeber.com.bo, 5 May 2008; Luis Fajardo, Indicios de victoria del Sí en Santa Cruz, BBC News, 4 May 2008, (Accessed: 12 April 2009)Tribunal Constitucional de Bolivia, Tribunalconstitucional.gob.bo, (Accessed: 2009-12-02)
  4. Thor Halversson stated at a 7 Nov 2011 Henry Jackson Event in London, that HRF was responsible for providing funding for a book on this topic. He also stated that HRF promoted "humanitarian intervention" or its corrolaries like "right to protect". He was effusive about the intervention in Libya and the toppling of Ghaddafi.
  5. HRF produced and provided the funding for the documentary film "The Sugar Babies: The Plight of the Children of Agricultural Workers in the Sugar Industry". It was first screened at Florida International University on June 27, 2007. The documentary about human trafficking of Haitians in the Dominican Republic drew protest from the Fanjul brothers, one of the largest beneficiaries of the human trafficking depicted in the film, with a sugar empire that dwarfs the US Sugar Corporation. More:
  6. At a 7 November 2011 Henry Jackson Event at the House of Commons in London, Jared Genser mentioned that Thor Halversson via HRF had provided funding for the publication of The Responsibility to Protect: The Promise of Ending Mass Atrocities in Our Times (Oxford University Press 2011)
  7. For example HRF Declares Venezuelan Union Leader Rubén González a Prisoner of Conscience, HRF, 21 January 2011.
  8. Following the 2010 earthquake that took place in Haiti, HRF began a fundraising campaign among Hollywood and sports celebrities for a food program devoted to the children of the St. Clare's community of Port Au Prince. The program was started in 2000 by American author Margaret Trost and by the late Gerard Jean-Juste, a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience who served as the priest of the St. Clare’s community. The HRF campaign included several celebrities. The campaign aimed at providing 160,000 meals for children. More: Angie Harmon, Patricia Heaton, David Hunt, Jason Sehorn, and Gary Sinise join HRF’s Haiti Relief ProgramThehrf.org
  9. HRF’s Response to Durban III: Partnership with “We Have A Dream” Global Summit, HRF, 21 September 2011.
  10. HRF: Press releases (Accessed: 5 November 2011)
  11. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  12. Resigned because of HRF's position on the coup in Honduras.
  13. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  14. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  15. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  16. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  17. HRF press release, calls on the OAS to suspend Honduras' antidemocratic government, 30 June 2009, (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  18. HRF Mourns the Loss of Eduardo Mendoza, HRF, 26 August 2009.
  19. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  20. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  21. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  22. HRF: Board of Directors (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  23. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  24. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  25. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  26. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  27. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  28. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  29. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  30. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  31. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  32. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  33. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  34. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  35. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  36. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  37. HRF: International Council (Accessed: 31 October 2011)
  38. http://www.bradleyfdn.org/pdfs/Grants2009/09-Bradley-Grantees.pdf
  39. [2]
  40. [3]
  41. [4]
  42. [5]
  43. [6]