September 9, 2010

George Soros gives $100M to Human Rights Watch

Posted in Philanthropy at 4:21 pm by philanthropynews

By Jennifer Peltz

NEW YORK — Billionaire philanthropist George Soros is putting up $100 million, one of the largest donations of its kind, to expand Human Rights Watch and help it court more international support.

The financier and major donor to liberal causes said Tuesday that it’s become a disadvantage for the group to be primarily funded by Americans because the U.S. has lost the “moral high ground” when it comes to fighting abuses.

The gift, to be distributed over 10 years, is meant as a dramatic start toward major growth for the group, which documents abuses and advocates for human rights in about 90 countries.

Soros’ donation is meant to help Human Rights Watch volunteers around the world entice other donors to give enough additional money to boost the organization’s budget from $48 million a year to $80 million within five years. The organization envisions hiring about 120 more staffers — primarily researchers and advocates — and setting up new offices to encourage such emerging powers as India and Brazil to make human rights a keystone of their foreign policies.

(Read more via Associated Press.)

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