The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group is a team of human rights defenders working in mainland China composed of Chinese academics, lawyers, and political professionals. We work with a wide network of activists and leaders to assist fellow human rights defenders in distress.

Our contacts with grant-making institutions, the press and diplomatic corps and international and regional diplomatic organizations allow us to provide crucial support to human rights defenders in the most direct way possible: by catalyzing urgent action appeals and funding.

NOTE: In order to ensure our safety and sustainability, we do not provide information about our members.


The group works to protect human rights defenders in peril and facing political persecution for their work. These courageous individuals are often forced into hiding, mistreated or tortured during prolonged periods of extra-legal detention or arrested, convicted and sentenced by a court of law for political reasons. Depending on a human rights defender's situation, needs and preferences, any of the following provisions may be made by the group:

  • Provision of funding for legal aid or counseling;
  • Provision of public advocacy to raise the issue through media attention;
  • Communication with international institutions like the UN and local diplomatic missions in China as a means of applying pressure on the Chinese government;
  • Communication with other international human rights groups with the aim of having them issue urgent alerts on behalf of the human rights defender; and
  • Provision of other types of support when needed.

The extent to which the group provides these services is dependent on available existing grant funding, funding from private donations and emergency support from grant-making institutions.


The Chinese Urgent Action Working Group is a non-profit group. Our work is funded through private donations and small grants. We greatly encourage you to donate as much as you can to aid us in helping human rights defenders in distress. All aid goes directly to our urgent action work and will only be used to cover program costs.

Donations can be given by credit/debit card or through Paypal directly. All transactions are handled by Paypal which guarantees bank-level security. Click on the icon below to donate now. ICON (donation system not functional yet)

The group’s work is largely made possible by our network of friends and colleagues around the world within the press and diplomatic corps. In our public advocacy and utilization of diplomatic mechanisms such as the United Nations Special Procedures and liaisons with Amnesty International and others, we are dependent on our contacts. Do you or your organization provide outlets for public and diplomatic advocacy on behalf of human rights defenders in distress? If so, please don't hesitate to contact us.

We encourage grant-making organizations who provide support for urgent actions and have not yet worked with us to contact us.

You can also help by providing us with information on human rights defenders in distress. See ‘Supply Information’ below for further details. Your contribution will be completely anonymous.

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