Human Rights Fund

Human rights are the foundation of a democracy in which every person counts. The Netherlands strives to protect and promote human rights all over the world. The Human Rights Fund therefore supports organisations that work for human rights worldwide.

Goal of the Human Rights Fund

The Dutch Cabinet wants to focus more on human rights abroad. This is set out in the coalition agreement ‘Confidence in the Future’ of the Rutte III Cabinet. Several policy priorities and their objectives have been drafted for Dutch human rights policy. The goal of the Human Rights Fund is to finance activities that support these priorities.

The Dutch Cabinet has also provided an update of its human rights policy. Additional information can be found in the Human Rights Report 2017 which the Cabinet presented on May 28th 2018 to the House of Representatives and in the Kamerbrief over intensivering van het mensenrechtenbeleid (in Dutch) which the Cabinet presented on October 30th 2018 to the House of Representatives.

Over the coming years a particular focus will be given to freedom of expression, especially the protection of (Dutch) journalists abroad, freedom of religion and belief and equal rights for LGBTI persons.

Human Rights Fund Grant Policy Framework 2019-2021

The Human Rights Fund Grant Policy Framework 2019-2021 (MRF 2019-2021) is part of the overarching Human Rights Fund. MRF 2019-2021 grants are intended for activities relating to the following themes:

  • freedom of expression;
  • internet freedom;
  • freedom of religion and belief;
  • human rights defenders;
  • equal rights for LGBTI persons;
  • promotion of the international legal order / the fight against impunity.

Are you interested in knowing how many applications have been submitted on a theme? Please look at the application overview.

Grant applications Human Rights Fund 2019-2021

You can submit a grant application for the Human Rights Fund 2019-2021 by completing an Application Form (ODT, 72 KB) for each individual grant application. The Application Form needs to be accompanied by the appendices specified in the Form and sent to Applications are assessed for each theme based on the order of receipt.

Please note: there are no more funds available under the Human Rights Fund Grant Policy Framework 2019-2021. This means any new applications will not be examined on the substance, but rejected on the basis of depletion of available resources.

Availability part of the Human Rights Fund through Embassies

Part of the Human Rights Fund is made available through the Dutch embassies for projects that focus on one specific country. Project proposals focusing on one country can be sent directly to the appropriate embassy.


Do you have a question? Please consult the list with Q&As about the Human Rights Fund 2019-2021. 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