China 2015

Advancing Citizen Priorities through Civil Society and Accountable Governance

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To promote progress toward an accountable, representative, and inclusive political system in China, the organization will support independent non-governmental organizations and reform-minded individuals to foster civic engagement, promote capacity building, and incubate inclusive governance practices. Activities will include conducting town hall meetings, promoting participatory models for budget reform, partnering with an academic institution to host a forum, and establishing an electronic resource library.


Advocating for Chinese Civil Society

China Change


To bring international attention, support, and recognition to Chinese rights defenders. The organization will highlight the perspectives of Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists through interviews, commentary, profiles, and news published on its website and disseminated via social media.


Bolstering Human Rights Activism and Rights Based Civil Society

Human Rights


To support the work of Chinese human rights defenders to raise rights awareness, document abuses, and bolster rights based civil society.  Civil society activists will be supported in developing their capacity in strategic planning, organizational development, and networking; and human rights defenders will receive training in how to cope with abusive practices, and raise awareness of significant human rights violations.


Bolstering Human Rights Activism and Rights Based Civil Society

Human Rights

Supplement: $20,000

To support the work of Chinese human rights defenders to raise rights awareness, document abuses, and bolster rights-based civil society advocacy. Civil society activists will be assisted in developing their capacity in strategic planning, organizational development, and networking; human rights defenders will be supported in their efforts to cope with abusive practices; and raise awareness of significant human rights violations.


Building Human Rights Advocacy Capacity and Empowering Civil Society

Human Rights


To promote transparency, accountability, human rights, and access to justice in China. This project will foster cooperation among Chinese rights defenders and carry out a broad program of advocacy, capacity building, and support for human rights defense activities.


Building the Capacity of Civil Society



To improve the capacity of civil society organizations working on anti-discrimination issues in conducting legal and policy work, and to improve the capacity of women lawyers working on antidiscrimination and consumers’ rights cases.  The organization will facilitate trainings for civil society in the use of public interest litigation and advocacy strategies and also support the development of civil society actors.


Circumventing Internet Censorship in China

China Digital Times, Inc.


To strengthen the community of digital activists by creating strategies to circumvent the “Great Firewall” and by popularizing the use of anti-censorship tools and practices. The project will provide timely information on censorship developments and distribute anti-censorship technologies to civic-minded Chinese Internet users.


Combatting Censorship and Creating Channels for Free Expression

China Digital Times, Inc.


To provide an open platform to access censored news, opinion, art, and commentary by Chinese citizens. The program will reintegrate censored political writing and social commentary into Chinese cyberspace and build a community of tech-savvy, politically aware Internet users. The group will also translate selected writings to give the international community access to uncensored Chinese opinions and political commentary.


Debating Democratic Reform

Democratic China, Inc.


To provide a platform for debate and intellectual discourse on democratic movements and strategies for democratization in China. The organization will publish articles by academics, activists, students, and artists about current social and political issues. The group will also maintain space to develop the framework and influence of Charter ’08 and promote political reform.


Democracy and Independent Filmmaking

Freedom of Information


To overcome censorship, raise human rights awareness, and document human rights violations. The organization will support the production of independent documentaries and human rights awareness-raising initiatives by civil society activists. The documentaries will serve to promote messages of democracy and government accountability.


Documenting Human Rights Abuses and Empowering Citizen Journalists

Freedom of Information


To raise awareness about human rights violations through citizen journalism and art. The organization will document human rights abuses, with a focus on land rights violations and forced psychiatric institutionalization. The group will also work with grassroots journalists to conduct investigative reporting and write research reports, and will work to strengthen its network of grassroots activists, legal professionals, and journalists.


Education on Civil Society and Democratization

Democratic Ideas and Values


To educate and train civil society activists on democratization and social movements and to provide a platform for youth to engage in discussion of democratic ideas, including tolerance, conflict resolution, and civil society activism. A multi-platform program will be provided for Chinese youth to learn about modern history and current events, comparative democratic development, and civil society initiatives.


Empowering Civil Society to Protect Rights

Asia Catalyst, Inc.


To improve the operational capacity of Chinese NGOs and to advocate for human rights. The organization will support training programs for NGO staff and volunteers, including workshops on decision-making and internal governance processes; provide short-term consulting services for a variety of groups; work with selected organizations to build management skills; develop online tools accessible to the broader community of NGOs; and conduct advocacy in and out of China on important public health discrimination issues and concerns regarding administrative detention.


Empowering the Chinese Legal Community

Rule of Law


To strengthen the capacity of China’s human rights legal community. The organization will support training and development of resources for human rights lawyers and support legal aid in selected cases. The organization will also support targeted domestic advocacy and undertake international advocacy to highlight the work of human rights lawyers and mobilize pressure to stop harassment and persecution targeted at human rights lawyers.


Enforcement of Labor Laws

Freedom of Association


To build the capacity of civil society activists to promote enforcement of Chinese labor laws and regulations. The organization will conduct trainings and workshops on advocacy and enforcement of labor law and other legal rights, and will also file legal cases to help targeted groups of vulnerable workers.


Enhancing Access to Justice and Countering Impunity

Rule of Law


To strengthen the rule of law and expand access to the legal system for disadvantaged groups.  Underrepresented groups and underserved areas will receive legal assistance that addresses government abuses or failure to act to protect the rights of citizens. In addition, training will be provided for groups working to promote government accountability.


Environmental Rights: Civil Society and Government Accountability



To strengthen the capacity of environmental NGOs to conduct advocacy and build norms of environmental accountability. The organization will work with local partners on a variety of educational, research, public policy advocacy, outreach, and legal aid activities to address environmental concerns.


Fostering Interethnic and Interfaith Solidarity

Initiatives for China Inc.


To foster trust and cooperation between different ethnic and religious groups. The organization will hold its eleventh annual Interethnic and Interfaith Conference to bring together prodemocracy activists from groups both inside and outside of China to share experiences and advocacy tools, and discuss current events and opportunities for cooperation.


Human Rights Monitoring and Advocacy for Ethnic Mongolians in China

Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center


To advance the human rights of ethnic Mongolians living in the Inner Mongolian region of China. The center will report on the human rights conditions in Inner Mongolia and publish its findings and related news through its website, press releases, and its multi-language publication, Southern Mongolian Watch.


Monitoring Media Freedom

Freedom House


To promote awareness among Chinese and Western stakeholders of information and media control by the government and potential responses to such control. The organization will produce the China Media Bulletin, a monthly publication in Chinese and English. The publication will provide target audiences with comprehensive information on censorship in China.


Promoting Democratic Policy Change

Rule of Law


To encourage public discussion, transparency, and advocacy about China’s family planning policies.  Research and reporting on the policies and practices of family planning agencies will be conducted, and legal assistance for victims and advocacy will be organized to advance respect for individual rights.


Promoting Democratic Values in China

Wei Jingsheng Foundation, Inc.


To promote awareness among Chinese of democratic values and to inform the international community about the human rights situation in China. The organization will continue its outreach through its website, distribution of information in China, and frequent interviews with the international and Chinese press.


Promoting Media Freedom in China

International Federation of Journalists – Asia Pacific


To protect press freedom in China and raise awareness of press freedom violations. The International Federation of Journalists -Asia will increase the capacity of journalists to report on political events and human rights by providing training in international standards and practices, as well as facilitating regional engagement in monitoring press freedom in China and distributing advocacy materials.


Promoting Respect for the Rule of Law

Rule of Law


To strengthen the rule of law and ensure lawyers are equipped to engage effectively in protecting human rights. The organization will support legal training on combating torture and other abuses by police, as well as research and advocacy on criminal defense reforms. The project will also seek to strengthen legal networks interested in human rights issues.


Protecting Rural Property Rights

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To protect rural property rights by informing residents of their rights and equipping them with the knowledge needed to protect these rights. The grantee’s partner will conduct one legal training workshop, six rights protection seminars, and an exchange program. Additionally, this project will establish two self-learning centers in select villages. The grantee will also provide logistical assistance and technical expertise on the issue of property rights.


Protecting the Rights of Chinese Private Entrepreneurs

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To help Chinese private entrepreneurs protect their legal and property rights and to educate them on how best to defend their rights. The grant will support a local partner to conduct legal training workshops and rights protection forums, and will lay the foundation for a program designed to enable participants to share experience, expertise, and resources. The program will also provide the partner with technical assistance on strengthening the rule of law and creating local ecosystems of entrepreneurship.


Raising Democratic Awareness

Democratic Ideas and Values


To foster an awareness of democratic development and democratic values, particularly among students and young adults.  Relevant course materials will be translated and printed in accessible language that provides a comparative perspective on democratic development, ideas, and values for distribution.


Religious Freedom, Rights Defense and Rule of Law

Rule of Law


To assist victims of religious persecution in defending their human rights and freedom of religion. The organization will support rule of law trainings and provide legal assistance directed at protecting religious freedom. The organization will also arrange for exchanges between Chinese civil society leaders and counterparts abroad on freedom of religion.


Strategic Support for Human Rights Lawyers

Rule of Law


To strengthen the rule of law and protection of rights for human rights lawyers. The organization will provide assistance to lawyers to take on important cases concerning human rights. These cases will have the potential to strengthen the legal system, provide momentum for policy change, and highlight weaknesses in laws or their enforcement. The project will also work to build the capacity of lawyers through workshops.


Strengthening Labor Rights

Freedom of Association


To strengthen labor rights and raise the capacity of workers to represent their interests. The organization will conduct in-depth research on labor issues, assist in worker trainings to provide information on labor rights and collective bargaining, and engage in related legal aid activities.


Strengthening Public Interest Law



To strengthen the rule of law, improve government accountability, expand the space for civil society to influence policies and laws, and to promote public participation and enhance the ability of vulnerable groups and consumers to protect their rights and interests. The organization will use its model of advocacy, strategic litigation, policy recommendations, and public outreach to protect citizens’ rights in the areas of consumer protection, discrimination against vulnerable social groups, and family planning.


Supporting Free Expression and Open Debate

Princeton China Initiative


To provide a forum for free expression and to stimulate open debate on China’s international role. The organization will produce the online publication China in Perspective, which provides a platform for Chinese academics, journalists, and independent researchers to discuss issues related to comparative democratization, Chinese foreign policy, democratic movements, and nationalism. The organization will also convene a conference on the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cultural Revolution.


Supporting Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights


To promote civil society development and human rights activism by providing support to human rights activists, political thinkers, and their families. Through coordination and collaboration with multiple networks, the organization will provide targeted and timely assistance to human rights activists facing harassment and arrest.


Worker Representative Training and Empowerment

Freedom of Association


To cultivate and train a network of worker representatives to empower workers in their respective workplaces. The grantee will support a series of focused trainings for workers on trade union organizing theories, skills and strategies.


Worker Rights Awareness in China

Solidarity Center (SC)


To strengthen the capacity of workers and their advocates to defend worker rights in China. The organization will continue to support grassroots workers and independent worker rights organizations’ efforts to promote strengthened worker rights and extend the rule of law to Chinese workers.

From the 2015 NED Annual Report.

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