Introducing Rights and Freedom – A Guardian Series

Today, The Guardian announced the launch of Rights and Freedom, a new project we at Humanity United are honored to support. This expansive series is dedicated to journalism that will illuminate the places in the world where abuses of human rights and freedom are occurring and help us all make sense of why. This project has the potential to make real and tangible impact on the structures and drivers of human rights abuses and on the lives of those affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a public health crisis; it has become a global human rights crisis. It continues to impact the least protected, most stigmatized and marginalized people and communities across the world. There is an urgent need to focus attention on those who are suffering the most and what can be done to help them.

When The Guardian approached us last year about this expanded focus, building on eight years of HU-supported investigations and reporting on human trafficking, both sides were of a single mind: the world needs to better understand on the systems, institutions, and individuals that are perpetuating abuses of rights and freedom. Even before the pandemic, the erosion of human rights globally, the increasing marginalization of vulnerable people, and the closing space for public debate and discourse were issues of growing concern.

Our past partnership with The Guardian supported their work on human trafficking and exploitation. We learned a lot together over the past eight years, and we observed together the importance of dedicated reporting to create awareness and understanding of these issues, as well as accountability for those who directly and indirectly perpetuate them. In many instances around the world, The Guardian’s reporting resulted in life-changing impact.

As a foundation focused on enduring peace and freedom, we see every day the power of journalism to create essential conditions for change. That’s why we support the work of journalism organizations like The Guardian, as well as locally-led media, and journalism networks. To guide this important work across our organization, and to ensure the integrity of the journalism we support, we closely follow a set of media funding principles that were developed in collaboration with our partners.

At Humanity United, we believe the service provided by journalists at this moment, particularly related to the global surge of human rights abuses, is vital and will help us and many others better understand and address the changing systems that are perpetuating these crises.

It is a privilege to support journalism, and we hope this new project will help amplify the voices of those affected and hold the powerful to account.