The Foundation for Human Rights (the Foundation) is a grant making institution supporting civil society organisations in South Africa, and the region, to implement programmes which promote and protect human rights. The Foundation's mission is to address the historical legacy of apartheid, to promote and advance transformation in the country and to build a human rights culture using the Constitution as a tool.
The mission of the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) has since its inception in 1996, been to address inequalities and promote and entrench human rights values. Its key objectives are addressing the legacy of apartheid, supporting transformation and building a human rights culture, using the Constitution as a tool. The FHR seeks ways to contribute towards building strong civil society organisations and public institutions that promote, protect and fulfill human rights. It aims to do this by empowering vulnerable groups to access their rights, and by promoting participatory democracy, thereby improving the quality of peoples’ lives and freeing the potential of each person, in order to overcome the injustices of the past.
The FHR believes a human rights-based approach to development provides the necessary conceptual framework for human development. This approach emphasises participation, non-discrimination, empowerment and respect for human rights. The human rights focus also brings two important values to development work: it provides a framework for policies and programmes, and provides the poor with the power to demand accountability to overcome poverty where there is an imbalance in power relations.
The FHR is committed to expanding human rights awareness, and provides support to CSOs in the human rights sector to help vulnerable and disadvantaged groups “find their voices’”. The FHR stresses the importance of the universality and inalienability of human rights, the indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of these rights, and the basic premise of equality over discrimination.
The FHR believes rights education is essential to change. The South African Constitution says that all human beings are entitled to their rights without discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, ethnicity, age, language, religion politics, national or social origin, and disability.