Oak Trustees have a long-standing interest in protecting the fundamental rights of the individual, supporting those who champion that struggle, and ensuring that perpetrators of gross abuses are held to account.


We support activist organisations involved in documentation, evidence collection, campaigns and strategic litigation that address our priorities. We also support those who empower human rights defenders, by improving their physical and digital security and enhancing their effectiveness through a range of technology tools. We provide core, project and seed funding in multi-year grants.



We support initiatives that:


To end impunity for gross violations of human rights by upholding the rights to truth, justice and redress for victims and the maintenance of public memory.


We support efforts which seek to:

  • research, document and collect evidence of gross abuses;
  • advocate and campaign for accountability at national, regional and international levels;
  • hold abusers to account in civil or criminal proceedings, and strengthen the implementation of judgements;
  • safeguard access to archives and historical documentation of abuses and publicly campaign to maintain public memory; and
  • identify and disseminate best practices and create a strong global community of anti-impunity litigators.




Supporting and protecting human rights defenders by protecting human rights defenders at risk and strengthening their capacity to be effective.


We support efforts which seek to:

  • monitor and engage in protective advocacy for human rights defenders at risk, and ensure access to targeted emergency assistance;
  • strengthen international protection networks and support a localised, contextual approach to threat analysis and preparedness;
  • ensure physical and digital security preparedness by human rights activists; and
  • strengthen the institutional capacity of our grantees through building core functional capacities and encouraging the adoption of best practices.


Freedom from arbitrary detention and torture by upholding fundamental guarantees in international law which prohibit arbitrary detention and torture and ensure the observance of due process guarantees.


We support efforts in three contexts – counter-terrorism, immigration and criminal justice – which seek to:

  • challenge indefinite and/or excessive detention regimes and promote alternatives to detention;
  • challenge the criminalisation of specific populations, namely LGBTI individuals and irregular migrants;
  • prevent torture by ensuring access to and transparency of places of detention, accountability for acts of torture and by opposing threats to the absolute prohibition on torture; and
  • strengthen the torture rehabilitation movement worldwide, in particular through supporting groups in regions of greatest need, deepening the evidence base on rehabilitation techniques and leveraging additional funding.




Broadening human rights constituencies by multiplying and amplifying influential voices, especially from the Global South on the International Human Rights Programme’s priorities.


We support efforts which seek to:

  • build public support for human rights, including through professional communications capacity–building, to deliver positive attitudinal change and reinforce traditional advocacy and campaigning;
  • promote and disseminate innovative campaigning methods;
  • promote strong human rights voices in the Global South; and
  • promote the human rights content of the foreign policy of emerging powers.







Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.


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