In 2022, we answered more calls for assistance across more countries than ever before. Our international teams of protection specialists, digital security consultants, and counsellors and psychologists provided nearly 6,000 hours of direct support to civil society organisations and activists under threat in 68 countries. We also trained 1,150 activists and advocates in 166 holistic security workshops.
Last year was a time of violent conflict, climate chaos, and closing civic space, not least of all with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the violent crackdown on protests in Iran. The number of calls for our assistance increased again compared to the previous year, to 30 new cases a month. The situations were complex and involved state security forces, corrupt corporations, and organised criminal gangs acting with increasing impunity. Despite this challenging backdrop, those we supported reported a 10% increase in capacity and a significant 12% decrease in risk following our work with them.
“Open Briefing made me feel comfortable and safe at a time when I was the most vulnerable. The help they provided allows me to continue advocating for a more just and sustainable world, while feeling protected.”
Environmental defender, North America
As a social enterprise, we also provide consultancy and retained support to help nonprofits and foundations achieve their missions and meet their risk management and duty of care commitments from the grassroots to the global. In 2022, 42% of our income came from such activities – supplementing our grants and donations by more than £300,000, and allowing us to protect more people than ever before.
Last year, we again supported many high-profile activists and well-known organisations, including many winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize (the ‘Green Nobel’) and the Right Livelihood Award (the ‘Alternative Nobel’). But most of our work is behind the scenes: human rights defenders in Hong Kong, women’s rights activists in Afghanistan, journalists in Russia, peacebuilders in Uganda, pro-democracy activists in Myanmar, LGBTQ+ activists in Sri Lanka, environmental defenders in Mexico, indigenous communities in Ecuador, and humanitarians in DR Congo. Their work is the very heartbeat of civil society.
For 12 years, we have stood together with those speaking truth to power. And we are just getting started.