RightsCon Funding Policy

Each year, the RightsCon Summit Series creates space for stakeholders from all sectors to meet, discuss, and collaborate on the most pressing issues impacting human rights in the digital age. Ensuring that this space is independent is central to the mission of RightsCon.

RightsCon is coordinated by Access Now, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The majority of our support comes from foundations, governments, companies, individuals, and civil society organizations, and ticket registration fees.

Programming is community led through a public proposal submission process, evaluated by Program Advisors, and managed by Access Now staff. Funding does not influence the program, the speakers selected, or the issues discussed at RightsCon.

To ensure the independence and integrity of RightsCon, we accept support from sponsors contingent upon the following non-negotiables:

  • RightsCon does not accept funding from sponsors that risks the independence and content of its programs;
  • RightsCon does not guarantee speaking roles or program slots in return for sponsorship;
  • RightsCon does not choose conference-related tools, technologies, or platforms based on sponsorship funding;
  • RightsCon does not accept funding that places RightsCon participants, partners, supported communities, or its mission at risk.
Funding is used to cover the required costs of the conference, including venue, staffing, food, transportation, audiovisual equipment, essential services like the 24/7 Digital Security Helpline, as well as supporting civil society participation at the event. This includes:

  • Travel scholarships to cover the flights, accommodations, and visas for grassroots activists attending RightsCon from the Global South;
  • Ticket subsidies to provide free tickets to those who would not be able to attend otherwise;
  • Exhibition booths for civil society organizations to promote their work in our village hub.

Any funding supplemental to RightsCon’s operating costs goes towards the ongoing expenses of its host organization, Access Now, which works throughout the year to advance many of the conversations which take take place at RightsCon. Access Now also maintains a policy of financial independence, transparency, and diversity. More information on Access Now’s work and programs can be found on our website.


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