© 2018 Human Rights Watch

(London, February 21, 2018) – The Players of People’s Postcode Lottery will make a £3 million award over five years to support Human Rights Watch’s work around the world.

In the first year, the Lottery’s initial funding of £600,000 will go to defending the rights of women and children in Burundi, South Sudan, and Sudan.

“We’re really excited and grateful to the lottery players for making such a significant award to Human Rights Watch,” said David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch. “Their help will enable us to investigate human rights violations that harm so many women and children, and to push for the policy changes needed to improve millions of lives.”

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded over £263 million to good causes across Great Britain and internationally, supporting a wide range of charities in areas including cultural, environmental, equality, health, and sports.

The conflict in South Sudan has forced more than 4 million people to flee their homes, taking a particular toll on women and children. Human Rights Watch has documented war crimes, including the use of child soldiers, and has urged the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo to help end the abuses. The charity will continue to document the gravest crimes, including widespread sexual violence, and push for international action to end these abuses and ensure the victims see justice.

Recent Human Rights Watch investigations in Burundi focused on political violence, and exposing the killings, disappearances, rapes, and torture committed by the security forces. Human Rights Watch will work to raise awareness about the crisis and maximize international pressure on the government to end its brutal crackdown and bring those responsible to justice.

The repressive government in Sudan routinely arrests critics, silences the press, and prevents people from worshipping freely. The long war in Darfur has forced hundreds of thousands to leave home; displaced civilians, especially women and children, remain at risk, including of sexual violence. The conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile has also displaced hundreds of thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster. Human Rights Watch will spotlight how Sudan’s repressive public order regime limits the lives of women and girls. We also hope to investigate how the abusive implementation of projects to exploit natural resources involving the forced relocation of communities leads to human rights abuses.

For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked to defend the human rights of vulnerable groups, including women and children, in sub-Saharan Africa. We bring issues from the most disenfranchised people in the world to the most powerful and seek rights-respecting change. With a staff of almost 450 people working to improve human rights conditions in more than 90 countries, Human Rights Watch publishes around 80 reports, 1,000 news releases, and more than 150 videos each year.

“The lottery players will help Human Rights Watch to invest in reporting on human rights abuses in Africa and beyond, increasing our effectiveness and protecting the rights of millions,” Mepham said.