Minority Rights Group International was founded in 1969 by David Astor, the then editor and proprietor of the Observer newspaper in the United Kingdom.
Troubled by the regular reports of ethnic persecution around the world that crossed his desk, Astor wanted to publish information about human rights violations and discrimination in order to shame governments into improving their record.
With a first major grant secured from the Ford Foundation, a press conference in London in November 1969 launched Minority Rights Group, ‘an organization for the defence of oppressed minorities worldwide’.
MRG has since gone onto publish original research and well-respected publications, advocate for the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples around the world, and campaign with over 50 in-country partner organisations.
Download our publication 40 years protecting minorities: 1969-2009, produced to mark our 40th anniversary, to read more about MRG’s history.