Human Rights Fund

Human rights are the cornerstone of human dignity, freedom and development in a society. The Human Rights Fund (MRF) supports organisations that work for human rights worldwide.

New: grant framework Human Rights Fund 2017-2020

As from today the new grant framework for the Human Rights Fund is available. You can submit a grant application via the dedicated application form. Applications will be processed in order of receipt. A decision will be made on a grant application within 13 weeks of its receipt. View the grant framework.

All the available funds for the different themes are provisionally awarded. This means that it is highly unlikely that your application will be processed. Despite this warning, you are by all means free to submit an application. As soon as the available funds have been definitely awarded, this will be published on the website.

Do you have a question? Please consult the list with Q&As about the grant framework Human Rights Fund 2017-2020. You might find the answer to your question there. Is your question not included in the list? In that case please send an email with your question to

Thematic application overview
The disbursement of grants for activities is restricted to the following themes:

  • Human rights defenders;
  • Equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people;
  • Most flagrant violations (capital punishment and torture);
  • Freedom of expression;
  • Internet freedom;
  • Freedom of religion and belief;
  • Business and human rights;
  • Impunity of international crimes.

Interested in knowing how many applications have been submitted on a theme? Please look at the application overview. This overview will be updated weekly.

Selection process with regard to awarding grants

When awarding grants, the Human Rights Fund concentrates on certain themes. The policy letter ‘Respect and Justice for All’ contains more information about the themes supported through the Fund.

Embassies and the Ministry

Part of the Human Rights Fund is made available through the Dutch embassies for projects that focus on one specific country. Not every embassy has funding available from the Human Rights Fund. Project proposals focusing on one country can be sent directly to the appropriate embassy. For more information you can contact the Multilateral Organisations and Human Rights Department (DMM) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by sending an e-mail to

For project proposals focusing on more than one country, an application can be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only when funding is available. The application must meet the conditions of the grant framework published by the Ministry. More information about the current grant framework can be found below.