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The Foundation for Human Rights was established in 1996 through a cooperation agreement between the European Union and the South African government.

The Foundation was created out of a decision by the democratic government’s first cabinet that a portion of the EU’s development assistance would be channelled to civil society organisations.

After initial scepticism over the trilateral structure and the Foundation’s independence, the partnership between The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the European Union and the Foundation has been hailed as a resounding success.

The Foundation has become one of the primary indigenous grant makers to the human rights sector in South Africa. It has focused on four areas: Human rights education, legal services in support of human rights, capacity building and networking and public institutions.

For more information, see the document, “Establishment of the Foundation for Human Rights”.

See also the document “Making Rights Real: Celebrating 10 years of the Foundation for Human Rights 1996 – 2006”.