Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat

  • Denmark, together with the governments of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Norway, comprise the joint funding mechanism the “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat” (IHL Secretariat). This funding mechanism has a budget of $17.6 million dedicated for over four years. The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
  • The IHL Secretariat, via NIRAS, received over $5 million (2013-2016) from DANIDA (see screenshot below).

DANIDA funding to the IHL Secretariat 2013-2016


*DANIDA does not report a grant for 2015

  • The IHL Secretariat funds highly politicized NGOs that promote BDS campaigns and engage in legal warfare against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel. Some of these NGOs have ties to terror, promote blatant antisemitism, distort facts, advance a “1948 agenda,” and exploit the false “apartheid” analogy, undermining peace and contributing to radicalization.
  • NGOs funded by the IHL Secretariat include:
    • BADIL (Secretariat core funding: $370,000) a leader in Palestinian “right of return” and international anti-Zionist boycott campaigns.
    • Al-Haq (Secretariat core funding: $710,000) a leader in anti-Israel demonization through lawsuits (“lawfare”) and campaigns at the International Criminal Court, as well as BDS activities.
    • Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (Secretariat core funding: $710,000) accuses Israel of “crimes” in confronting Palestinians carrying out stabbing attacks. Calls Hamas rockets that injure Palestinians a “misuse of weapons.”
  • NGO Monitor has extensively documented numerous concerns relating to the IHL Secretariat.

Direct Funding

  • Denmark provides limited direct funding to organizations in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv’s website discloses funding for a project with Bimkom. (No other information is available.) Bimkom also receives funding from the IHL Secretariat.
    • Bimkom’s submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits do not reflect Denmark’s support for the NGO.
  • The Danish Representative Office in Ramallah does not appear to directly fund NGOs.

Direct Danish funding to Palestinian and European Organizations

The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights2016ICHR - Independent Commission for Human Rights - Palestine$784,357
DanWatch2016CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch$263,465
2015CSR Pool “The Right to Food”DKK 5 million*
(approx. $740,000)
2013CSR Fund: “Strengthen a watchdog who shares his knowledge and creates balanced debate.”DKK 5 million
(approx. $740,000)
Oxfam GB2016Transitional Programme 2014 2015$1,037,041
DanChurchAid2015N/ADKK 218.4 million (approx. $32 million)
2014N/ADKK 296.8 million
(approx. $38 million)

*Unclear if this is a duplication of other funding or if it is a separate grant.

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

  • ICHR received $784,357 in 2016 (as of November 21, 2016) and $903,860 in 2014 from DANIDA. ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization, established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.”


  • DanWatch’s describes itself as an “investigative media and research center, that produces journalism in the interest of the public.” However, the organization leverages this allegedly “independent” position to politically attack Israel. As part of the BDS campaign against Israel, DanWatch has targeted Israeli and European corporations Ahava, G4S, and ISS, Israeli agricultural products, and tour operators.
  • While DanWatch describes itself as “a watchdog,” its own financial reports show that DanWatch practices limited financial transparency and does not release detailed information regarding its own funding sources.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida) is currently providing a grant to DanWatch for a total of $837,494 (2014-2017) for a project called “CSR-Facility. Fonden DanWatch. A strenghened [sic] watchdog who shares all its knowledge and fosters a nuanced debate.”
    • It is unclear if this is the same project funding that DanWatch receives through the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s CSR-Pool for DKK 5 million (approx. $740,000) for a project called “The Right to Food.”
    • Previous funding included:
  • DanWatch bases its research on unreliable, biased, and radical sources active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Who Profits, ICAHD, and Al-Haq.

Oxfam GB