Privately-funded rights advocacy and civil society organization founded in the United Kingdom in 1990 in response to lack of accountability for victims of police violence, the growing use of paramilitary tactics against civilian protests in many states, and serious human rights violations by many Western military contractors in dealing with known despotic governments.
Omega has since grown into a multi-national effort that a) covertly documents police abuse, b) investigates reports of illegal government action or corporate criminality (through its own anonymous network of activists, students and other concerned citizens), c) briefs journalists and political representatives on issues related to the international arms trade and illicit technology transfer to regimes known for rights abuse, and, d) supports wider public debate through support of academic work or published accounts of wrong-doing.
This is dangerous, sensitive and controversial work. The leadership of the Foundation, its general membership and its network of associates and reporters is kept strictly confidential, primarily to protect sources in many parts of the world from state reprisal, retaliation by private security forces or arms dealers who are the frequent subject of Omega reporting; one example of recent field work includes highly detailed evidence of questionable exports of high-powered armaments and military vehicles to various states in the Middle East and Africa, despite ongoing rights abuses and potential war crimes inquiries.
Another good example of Omega supported published work is Eveline Lubbers' Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark: Corporate and Police Spying on Activists (Pluto Press, London, 2012). An example (pre-Cryptome and Wikileaks) of radical activism and philanthropy working at the edges of the law, exposing systemic violence and injustice, for social good in some of the most dangerous parts of the globe.