We are a team of human rights defenders that believes 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 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.
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.
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.
U.N. Economic and Social Council grants Fortify Rights Special Consultative Status at the U.N.
Fortify Rights Rohingya Media Fellows—Dil Kayas, Omal Khair, and Azimul Hasson—win a prestigious Shorty Award for “Best Work for Immigration and Refugees.” The project is also shortlisted in the category of “Storytelling.”
Fortify Rights wins a 2021 Communitas Award for its Rohingya media fellows program to train and support young Rohingya-refugee photographers in Bangladesh.
The President of Taiwan and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy awards Fortify Rights the 2022 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award, recognizing “courageous individuals and groups who build democracy, stand up for justice, and defend human rights.”
The Fortify Rights Governance Board comprises ten members, including: Sanjula Weerasinghe, Amanda Sim, Saman Zarifi, Brian Schmidt, [Anonymous], Mona Fetouh, Nickey Diamond, Amy Smith, and Matthew Smith.
The Fortify Rights Advisory Board comprises six members, including Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; Tomás Ojea Quintana, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea; Tyler Giannini, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School; Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director of Asia; Pilkyu Hwang, Executive Director at Gonggam Human Rights Law Foundation; and Thomas Sadoski, acclaimed actor and activist.
Join our team!
We are looking for committed change-makers to join our team.