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We are a team of human rights defenders that believe in the influence of evidence-based research, the power of strategic truth-telling, and the importance of working with individuals, communities, and movements pushing for change.

How do we create change?

We Investigate. We Engage. We Strengthen.

We use an innovative approach to bring laws, policies, and practices in line with human rights standards. When we investigate violations, engage people with power, and strengthen human rights defenders, change is possible.

We investigate human rights violations

Responding to human rights violations requires an accurate understanding of the facts.

We conduct in-depth, ground-breaking research into human rights violations and support survivors, eyewitnesses, and others to contribute to the fact-finding process.

We rely on the human rights framework to analyze the evidence and produce publications detailing our findings and recommendations for solutions. Our publications include reports and news releases, private submissions, joint statements, and multimedia materials.

We engage people with power on solutions

We meet with senior government officials, high-level U.N. representatives, and others to discuss the findings of our evidenced-based research and potential solutions to address human rights concerns.

We also engage the media and public to expand discussion, dialogue, and action on human rights concerns. Our work has received widespread coverage in international, regional, and local media outlets.

We work to strengthen human rights defenders.

We partner with human rights defenders and affected communities to support local-led, collective responses to human rights violations.

We facilitate skill and knowledge-building workshops and trainings, expand opportunities for partners to directly engage people with power, and increase protections for human rights defenders at risk.

Fortify Rights through the years…

Fortify Rights initiates operations in Myanmar in 2013.


We begin conducting investigations, engaging people with power, and strengthening human rights defenders in Myanmar. Through this innovative approach, we achieved impacts. We publish our first investigation, Policies of Persecution, which had more than one million online file requests, and conduct trainings for human rights defenders in war-torn areas of Myanmar.


We scale our work to Thailand and expand our work in Myanmar. We produce 28 publications, including four full-length reports. We engage more than 100 people with power, and our work receives coverage in more than 2,400 media articles. We also support a variety of initiatives with partners in Thailand and Myanmar.

2015 Annual Report


We scale our impacts to Malaysia while continuing our work in Myanmar and Thailand. We produce 64 publications, including five full-length reports. We engage hundreds people with power, and our work receives coverage in more than more than 2,900 media articles. We also facilitate 117 strengthening activities with partners.

2016 Annual Report


We produce 84 publications, including two full-length reports. We engage 94 people with power, and our work receives coverage in more than 4,200 media articles. We also facilitate 54 strengthening activities with partners.

2017 Annual Report


Fortify Rights receives the Roger E. Joseph Prize, an annual award recognizing “exceptional individuals and institutions” for their “lasting contribution to the causes of human rights.” We produce 94 publications, including six full-length reports. We engage more than 110 people with power, and our work receives coverage in more than 2,199 media articles. We also facilitate 80 strengthening activities with partners.

2018 Annual Report

Meet our team
Ismail Wolff
Regional Director
Regional Director
Puttanee Kangkun
Senior Thailand Human Rights Specialist
Amateur Jungle Tracker
Prattana Tublom
Thailand Human Rights Associate
Professional Cafe Hopping Enthusiast
Anonymous Specialist
Myanmar Human Rights Specialist
Myanmar Human Rights Specialist
John Quinley III
Senior Human Rights Specialist
Rock Climber
Anonymous Associate
Rohingya Human Rights Associate
Rohingya Human Rights Associate
Anonymous Specialist
Multimedia Specialist
Multimedia Specialist
Tams Lu
Multimedia Associate
Multimedia Associate
Iuri Kato
Visual Design Specialist
Visual Design Specialist
Chutapat Suwansatiean
Visual Design Associate
Tanyalak Thongyoojaroen
Communication Associate
Communication Associate
Vanessa Chong
Grants Specialist
Grants Specialist
Simitha Singam
Gifts Associate
Mowgli's Assistant
Patrick Phongsathorn
Impact Monitoring and Learning Associate
Impact Monitoring and Learning Associate
Rattawan Saranyanitikul
Operations Associate
Part time traveler
Matthew Smith
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Amy Smith
Executive Director
Airtable and Asana Geek
Ken MacLean
Senior Advisor
Senior Advisor
Our Board

The Fortify Rights Governance Board is comprised of nine members, including: Sidney J. JansmaIII (President), Joe Cashion (Vice President), Sanjula Weerasinghe, Oddny Gumaer, Saman Zarifi, Steve Gumaer, [Anonymous], Amy Smith, and Matthew Smith.

The Fortify Rights Advisory Board is comprised of five members, including the President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Kerry Kennedy, the current U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea Tomás Ojea Quintana, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School Tyler Giannini, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director of Asia Phil Robertson, and Executive Director at Gonggam Human Rights Law Foundation Pilkyu Hwang.



Join our team!

We are looking for committed change-makers to join our team.