Who we are and what we do


The Thomson Reuters Foundation stands for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law.

We play a leading role in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

We use the skills, values, and expertise of Thomson Reuters to run programmes that trigger real change and empower people around the world, including free legal assistance, journalism and media training, coverage of the world’s under-reported stories, and the Trust Women Conference.

We tackle global issues and achieve lasting impact.

A global Foundation

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We are a rapidly growing organisation with over 70 staff members around the world. We speak 30 languages, represent 24 countries, and work in 12 office locations across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. We’re a mix of journalists, lawyers, social innovators, media and communication trainers. We pride ourselves on our dynamic, quirky, and entrepreneurial spirit.

From award-winning investigative journalism to strategic initiatives that fight modern-day slavery worldwide, the impact and presence of the Thomson Reuters Foundation continues to grow, changing laws and making an impact internationally.

We are global and in continuous expansion. Want to get in touch with any of our representatives across these regions? Please email us.

Our history

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The Thomson Reuters Foundation has come a long way since it was established in 1983 as a training programme for journalists in developing countries. Since Monique Villa’s appointment as CEO in 2008, the Foundation has transformed into an entrepreneurial corporate charity with a start-up spirit.

In 2010, Monique Villa launched TrustLaw, the award-winning service that spreads the practice of pro bono worldwide. Monique also used her experience as a journalist to set up an editorial programme entirely dedicated to covering the world’s under-reported stories. Journalism training was also scaled up, with the creation of new courses and platforms for independent media worldwide, and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

In 2012, Trust Women was launched. The yearly conference has quickly become one of the leading forums to discuss human trafficking and slavery, and many other issues revolving around women’s economic and social empowerment.

We took over the ambitious challenge of summing up over thirty years of history in this short video. Take a look.

Under-reported stories

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Journalism is one of the pillars of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. We cover the world’s under-reported stories, the issues that mainstream media often forget.

Our editorial team includes 26 correspondents across five continents and a powerful network of more than 100 contributors, enabling us to cover stories at the heart of aid, development, human rights, climate change, corruption, and social innovation.

Every day, our trust.org website brings you features, analysis, info-graphics, blogs and exclusive videos. Our content is syndicated for free to prestigious news outlets and is accessible to all Reuters clients around the world.

Our journalists are resident-experts in the areas of women’s rights, climate change, trafficking, property rights and humanitarian news. They often provide comments and in-depth analysis to media organisations internationally and in several languages. From television shows to radios, from magazines to podcasts, our team is a formidable asset for any media outlet around the world.

Take a look for yourself.

Media Development

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We believe free journalism is a pillar of democracy, and for this reason we are deeply committed to journalism excellence. Since 1983, we’ve promoted the highest standards of journalism worldwide. We support excellence in journalism through a number of different initiatives: the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, devoted to innovative and comparative international research; the training of hundreds of journalists around the world; and the creation of news platforms for independent media.

Our global network of journalists allows us to provide training where other organisations can’t. We’ve trained over 12,000 reporters and media professionals in locations including Kyrgyzstan, Benin, Suriname, South Sudan, Myanmar, Laos, Mongolia, East Timor, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.

Our team also supports innovative news platforms around the world: Aswat Masriya, the Foundation’s Arabic and English news service in Egypt, was instrumental in providing the world’s media with accurate and objective news throughout the political upheavals. And in 2013 we launched the Source, a new website providing business and economic news from Zimbabwe.

We actively support the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), a centre of excellence for academic research on the future of journalism worldwide. Set up in 2006 and part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, the RISJ provides an independent forum for journalists and scholars worldwide.

We asked some Fellows from the Reuters Institute to give words of advice to young would-be journalists.

Trust Women

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The Trust Women conference is an influential gathering that brings together global corporations, lawyers, government representatives, and pioneers in the field of women’s rights and anti-trafficking. The annual event has become a prestigious women’s rights movement and the world’s most authoritative forum on modern day slavery.

At Trust Women, speakers and delegates commit to a number of strong commitments to advance human rights, we call them actions. Among them: a global litigation center for the victims of human trafficking; a global data platform to fight slavery in supply chains; an effort to boost literacy for 5 million women through mobile phones; and the Stop Slavery Award.

Launched by Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa, the Stop Slavery Award is a brand new initiative which will honour corporations who are ‘best in class’, going above and beyond in ensuring their supply chains are free from bonded and forced labour. Designed by Anish Kapoor, the inaugural Stop Slavery Award will be presented at the next Trust Women Conference on November 30, 2016 in London.

Want to know more?

Perception polls

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At the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we understand the power of data. Our experience with perception polls in the past three years has taught us that data, when gathered and analysed by experts, can illustrate scenarios as vividly as photojournalism. And when data is crunched with the aim to shed light on issues not commonly known or discussed, the impact is immediate.

Developed and produced with the help of some of the world’s leading gender experts, our perception polls generate international debate by putting human rights at the top of the news agenda.

Our latest poll on the 5 key issues facing women working in the G20 received extensive media coverage. Take a look.