Non-profit organization

Our Mission

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.

We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.

We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Our Values

We believe in fundamental human rights, dignity, and the rule of law.

We believe in a society where all people are free to participate fully in civic, economic, and cultural life.

We believe in addressing inequalities that cut across multiple lines, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and citizenship.

We believe in holding those in power accountable for their actions and in increasing the power of historically excluded groups.

We believe in helping people and communities press for change on their own behalf.

We believe in responding quickly and flexibly to the most critical threats to open society.

We believe in taking on controversial issues and supporting bold, innovative solutions that address root causes and advance systemic change.

We believe in encouraging critical debate and respecting diverse opinions.

Open Society Foundations Resources

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A Community-Based Practitioner’s Guide: Documenting Citizenship and Other Forms of Legal Identity
Manuals & Guidelines
June 2018
Global

Today, 1.1 billion people around the world lack legal identity documentation. Without it, they cannot vote, access healthcare, or go to school—and are at risk of becoming stateless. Entire communities—especially the poor and members of minority groups—may lack documentation, leaving them legally and politically invisible. The lack of effective citizenship prevents millions from realizing their rights and reaching their full potential.

Strategic Litigation Impacts: Indigenous Peoples' Land Rights Cover image
Reports & Research
April 2017
Global

The world is increasingly encroaching on indigenous peoples’ traditional lands. Around the globe, indigenous communities are forced to cede ground to state development, corporate land grabs, rising sea levels, environmental degradation, and population growth. The right to land provides the basis for access to food, housing, and development. But for indigenous peoples, traditional lands are more than this; they represent essential ties to their ancestors, their culture, and their languages. Losing their land means losing their way of life.

Policy Papers & Briefs
March 2014
Global

In many parts of the world, women’s rights to land and property are systematically denied. Women have fewer or less secure rights than men, and discriminatory attitudes and practices undermine them. This leaves many women vulnerable, and almost entirely dependent on the men in their lives for basic economic survival. 

Dependance on men can lead to entrapment in abusive relationships, less control over sexual relations, and less ability to produce food or secure food.

Policy Papers & Briefs
January 2014
Global

In many parts of the world, women’s rights to land and property are systematically denied. Women have fewer or less secure rights than men, and discriminatory attitudes and practices undermine them. This leaves many women vulnerable, and almost entirely dependent on the men in their lives for basic economic survival. 

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