KIOS Annual Report 2020 published

The KIOS Annual Report 2020 shows how activists managed to continue their human rights work, even in the midst of a pandemic. Last year, KIOS funded 40 human rights projects of programs in East Africa and South Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 exceptional in many ways. The pandemic was unexpected and led to rapid changes around the world. The year was marked by uncertainty about the future and new kinds of restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly that we could not have imagined.

“It has become clear to everyone over the past year that human rights cannot be taken for granted. We must raise our voices and fight for the rights again and again”, writes KIOS Executive Director Mr. Kim Remitz in the foreword.

Doing human rights work became more difficult in 2020. Activists supported by KIOS had to adapt their activities to new circumstances and come up with new ways to work.

What did KIOS and our grantees achieve in 2020?

During the year, KIOS funded 40 human rights projects or programs, of which 18 were in East Africa and 22 in South Asia.

Last year, KIOS directed € 732 326 to human rights work in developing countries. Some of the results from 13 projects or programs that ended last year include:

  • 5 866 people learned about their rights and how to defend them
  • 1 094 authorities learned about human rights and their duties
  • 2007 people received legal aid or counselling
  • 34 human rights reports were published
  • 22 strategic litigation cases proceeded in court.

KIOS grantees did human rights work, for example, by gathering testimonies on the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, reducing prejudice against LGBTIQ+ people in Kenya, and helping women without a spouse who are discriminated to start a new life in Nepal.

During 2020, our long-term grantee from Kenya had a significant legal victory, when a local court ordered millions in compensation to victims of lead poisoning in a community near Mombasa.

Women and victims of human rights violations in focus

The most common themes of our grantees’ work in 2020 were:

  • Women’s rights and gender equality
  • Rule of law and democracy
  • Rights of migrants and refugees
  • Conflict & crises

KIOS focused its funding on the protection and promotion of the rights of persons who are in a vulnerable position or marginalized. Such groups included, for example, refugees and migrants, Dalits, child prisoners, sexual and gender minorities, victims of human rights violations, and human rights defenders.

Currently, KIOS is the only civil society actor in Finland that funds LGBTIQ+ organizations in developing countries. In 2020, KIOS supported four such organizations in East Africa and South Asia.

In Finland, KIOS’ communications work focused on the impact of the pandemic on human rights and human rights work.

Download the Annual Report (pdf) and read more about our work in 2020!

For an accessible version, please read the summary on our website.




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