Ford Foundation grant supports study of human rights

Author: Dennis Brown

p. The Ford Foundation has awarded a $750,000 three-year grant to the Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) at the University of Notre Dame to conduct academic, research and advocacy projects on the subject of accountability for gross human rights abuses worldwide.

Long recognized as a leader in this area of human rights, the CCHR will dedicate the Ford Foundation funding to analysis of issues such as truth and justice in transitions to democracy, universal jurisdiction, and international criminal justice, including support for an International Criminal Court.
p. More specifically, the grant will enhance Notre Dame’s place as a primary research center on human rights accountability by increasing the University’s collection of library materials on the topic, drawing invited practitioners with experience in the field to campus as visiting fellows, and placing attorneys and other professionals in internships with tribunals, truth commissions and appropriate nongovernmental organizations.
p. The center also will organize conferences, publish the results of scientific research, and attract to its master’s and doctoral programs lawyers from around the world who demonstrate a strong commitment to a serious study of all aspects of accountability.
p. The grant to Notre Dame is one of the first awarded by the Ford Foundation in its “Enforcing Human Rights” initiative, which features a new International Center for Transitional Justice that will collaborate with the CCHR and other similar centers to provide advisory services to governments and civil society. One early example is a recent trip by Juan Mendez, director of the CCHR, and three other international experts to Peru, where there are plans for a truth commission.
p. It was a grant from the Ford Foundation that led to the creation of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame in 1973. The center initially focused on civil rights issues in the Untied States, but in recent years has expanded its work to the international human rights arena.
p. Over several decades, the Ford Foundation has been a major force supporting the field of human rights worldwide. An independent, nonprofit grant-making organization, it has headquarters in New York and offices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Russia. More information is available on the World Wide Web at .

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