Human Dignity Foundation was established in 2004 to enable children to live with dignity. Protecting and promoting children’s rights is the first step in enabling them to live safe, fulfilling and dignified lives.

Laying the foundations

The threats to children’s rights are many and the need to respond urgent. HDF partners with like-minded organisations to tackle some of the gravest abuses of their rights, specifically child sexual abuse and harmful practices. We provide support to a network of community, national and international organisations through a combination of funding, capacity building and thoughtful leadership and advice.

“Our mantra is children can’t wait. It’s the urgent reality that underpins our work. It encourages us to question, be creative, and explore better ways of protecting children’s rights.”

Seán Coughlan
Executive Director, Human Dignity Foundation

Maximising impact

In 2009 HDF’s board, led by Founder and Chairman Dr John Climax, took the decision to become a limited life foundation. By compressing the period in which HDF can contribute to its mission, we have increased the relative size, intensity and urgency of our contribution. Our aim has always been to identify the most effective role we can play in protecting children’s rights. The foundation has gone through a series of strategic phases that have allowed us to refine our tactics and maximise our impact. We’re currently in the final ‘sunset phase’. By focusing our resources on the fight against child sexual abuse and harmful practices we are prioritising two of the gravest abuses of children’s rights.

Our History

2004

Human Dignity Foundation is founded by Dr John Climax as a registered charity in Switzerland.

2006

Landmark grants distributed in response to the earthquake in Pakistan and to support education in South African townships.

2008

HDF supports the emergence of a dedicated, EU-wide end FGM campaign, managed by Amnesty International, which transitions into a fully-fledged, independent network.

2009

Strategic review recommends that the foundation transitions to limited life with grant-making to complete in 2021.

2010

Mary Healy takes up the role of Executive Director and begins HDF’s focus on key areas of child protection.

2011

The foundation develops its first strategic plan to guide the ‘sunrise phase’.

2012

2012 – Launch of partnership with Trócaire to address harmful practices that increase the exposure of girls to HIV in Malawi.

2013

HDF begins its sustained support for Girls Not Brides – an initiative of The Elders that campaigns to end child marriage.

2014

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, HDF distributes a series of small grants to help grantees build their organisational capacity.

2015

The foundation embarks on a rigorous review of its child safeguarding culture and practice and supports grantees to do the same.

2016

HDF support leads to the inclusion of critical SDG indicators to end violence against children and the establishment of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

2017

Evolution of the foundation’s theory of change leads to an increased focus on child sexual abuse and harmful practices through the ‘sunset phase’.

2018

Seán Coughlan becomes Executive Director to lead HDF’s final phase of support for children’s rights.

Since 2004 we’ve partnered with over 60 community, national and international organisations.

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Our People

Our team of experts combine diverse experiences from across the worlds of international development, social enterprise, and financial services.

Meet the Team

Annual Reports

Policies

Our policies reflect HDF’s operating principles. Most importantly, they seek to guarantee a protective environment for the children who interact with the initiatives and programmes we support.

Child Safeguarding

Human Dignity Foundation is committed to ensuring that the programmes it funds are respectful of, and accountable to, all programme participants. Children are the primary focus of HDF’s work and particularly vulnerable. This policy outlines how we ensure their protection.
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Whistleblowing

A culture of openness and accountability are essential. This policy outlines the whistleblowing procedure in place to provide all direct fund recipients or related third parties with a channel to express any concerns they may have related to wrongdoing.
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Privacy

Our privacy statement provides information about the ways in which Human Dignity Foundation collects, stores, shares or keeps any personal information provided to the organisation – online and offline. We reserve the right to modify or amend this Policy from time to time without notice.
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Anti-Fraud

Human Dignity Foundation is committed to preventing fraud and corruption through its work, and to the development of an anti-fraud and anti-corruption culture within all grantees. This policy outlines the rationale and process for prevention, detection, and resolution of fraudulent behaviour.
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