Providing support to local human rights organisations

Grant-making programme

ProtectDefenders.eu provides support to local human rights organisations in the implementation of activities aimed at advancing a human rights agenda and to counter violations (including combating repressive laws, restrictions, sanctions and administrative provisions restricting their work).

The objective is to strengthen and sustain initiatives by local human rights organisations aimed at preventing and responding to developments adversely affecting the human rights and the human rights defenders’ movements at the local level, especially in the most difficult countries and working on behalf of vulnerable communities.

This medium to longer term support programme is especially addressed to groups or NGOs that have limited capacity to approach donors, including those particularly targeted because of the issues they work on, those recently established or not having the possibility to register in their countries of operation, those in need of a timely and flexible response, and those working in remote and isolated areas.

ProtectDefenders.eu implements the support programme to local human rights organisations through its partners UAF, EMHRF, FIDH, OMCT, RSF, PI and PBI.

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Fields of intervention

Call for proposals are either open or will be issued by the partners to cover the following thematic areas...

  • Consolidating operational capacities of local human rights organisations. ProtectDefenders.eu prioritises funds for operational activities rarely covered by other donors yet important to the medium to long term prospects for Human Rights Defenders, such as:
    • Supporting emerging local initiatives, especially the ones in isolated areas or strengthening Human Rights Defender protection structures, such as networks or focal points;
    • Providing a lifeline to local organisations that are ‘endangered’ by unexpected and/or grave security, financial, legal or administrative situations
  • Expanding capacities to implement local innovative activities and projects to prevent and respond to infringements faced by Human Rights Defenders and their organisations, and to advance a human rights agenda. ProtectDefenders.eu supports strategies related to advocacy or public campaigns, capacity building and trainings, documentation and printing of materials, joint development and implementation of protection plans by human rights organisations and networks.
    • Building capacities of local organisations, by allowing them to obtain and/or conduct specific trainings in areas that would assist in protecting them, such as physical and digital security, legal defense, litigation, etc.;
    • Campaigning and advocating for the protection of defenders and to advance a human rights agenda, such as through “academic” visits of special rapporteurs, national, regional and international campaigns or advocacy missions to counter funding restrictions, defamation and the criminalisation of human rights defenders in countries in situations of early warning, and to support initiatives for legal and policy changes.

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Apply for funding

To request a grant, apply here:

In view of the high number of requests received and funding availability, we are no longer able to accept new applications currently. Review of applications will resume in October 2017.

Or directly to the following programs:

FIDH

FIDH operates a public grant-making mechanism to strengthen and sustain sensitive initiatives by local Human Rights Defenders organisations worldwide, advertised on its website and via its regional desks.

The amount of funding requested shall range between 5,000 and 10,000 Euros. The duration of support shall not exceed one year. 5 to 10 projects will be funded annually. Application forms are readily available in English, French and Spanish. FIDH prioritises support to NGOs needing to expand their operational capacities or to expand their capacities to implement local innovative activities and projects.

FIDH accepts applications by email, including encrypted email.

OMCT

OMCT provides support to local human rights organisations from any region of the world in order to enable them to consolidate their operational activities, allowing them to develop sensitive initiatives and/or sustain their work, as well as to strengthen their capacities to implement local innovative activities and projects to prevent and respond to infringements human rights defenders and their organisations are facing.

Applications for a grant to receive financial support to a local human rights organisation can be submitted by any human rights organisation that is facing risks because of its human rights work and in need of urgent support. Please use the Application Form available in English, French or Spanish on our website and send it by email or fax to:

OMCT International Secretariat
Human Rights Defenders Programme
Email: grants[at]omct.org
Tel: +41 22 809 49 39
Fax: +41 22 809 49 29

To submit the application form by encrypted email, kindly contact OMCT.

RSF

RSF supports the activities of media outlets and local NGOs that defend the media or freedom of information.

This assistance is intended to help media outlets and NGOs to maintain or restore operational capacity in the event of problems (such as attacks, ransacking and vandalism). It may also contribute to capacity-building and development:

  • by facilitating training for their employees or members
  • by supporting campaigns and lobbying for freedom of information and for the protection of information providers.

The processing of applications for support and capacity-building requires more examination and preparation, and is therefore not as fast as the processing of applications by media outlets and NGOs that have been the victims of attacks or vandalism.

From time to time, RSF may post invitations to submit specific proposals on its website in response to developments or in accordance with its priorities.

How to apply to RSF for support

Requests by NGOs or media outlets for assistance should be sent to: Reporters Without Borders
Assistance Desk
CS 90247
75083 Paris Cedex 02
France
assistance@rsf.org (+33 1 4483 6056): for NGO and media outlet requests for assistance

UAF

UAF supports women and transgender human rights defenders (WHuman Rights Defenders)'s organisations when they face unanticipated threats and during political windows of opportunity in Asia & Oceania, the Middle East, and within marginalised communities in Europe and North America.

UAF prioritises support to WHuman Rights Defenders that are working as part of organisations, networks, or social movements for the achievement of women's human rights and/or LGBTIQ human rights.

UAF maintains an open, online application process that is available 24/7. Application forms are readily available in a dozen languages and additional languages are accommodated by UAF as needed.

EMHRF

EMHRF has an established and open grant-making mechanism that provides modest financial assistance to support emerging sensitive human rights initiatives and to reinforce capacities and the professionalisation of civil society organisations at the local level.

The threshold for standard interventions amounts to 40,000 Euros (average of 20,000 Euros), and special attention is paid to innovative thematic areas that have priority importance for the South-Mediterranean region.

Any Human Rights Defenders organisation in need of financial or material support must present an application either in Arabic, English or French to the EMHRF, meeting the guidelines made public on its website.

English version
French version
Arabic version

PBI

PBI has two different and specific programmes to support Human Rights Defenders local organisations in Latin America and Indonesia.

  • The Latin America programme is providing direct material support to Human Rights Defenders. PBI will financially cover logistic expenses for defenders to travel during international advocacy missions. Procedures, selection criteria and the applications forms are on PBIs international website and requests will be send to the respective field project
  • The Indonesia programme is providing direct financial support to Human Rights Defenders from remote areas to facilitate the participation in a 7 month training in Jakarta designed to enhance essential skills for human rights protection, documenting, reporting and advocacy. Criteria used to select participating organisations will prioritise those working on gender issues, those with less experienced staff, and those who have established networks within their region of work.

Protection International

Protection International has a Protection Support Fund (PSF) to help organisations to incorporate the cost of protection measures in their regular fund-raising.

Grants under this Fund are made up to a maximum of 7.500 € to organisations, networks or to individual Human Rights Defenders in situations involving their family. In case of partnerships between PI entities and local partners in form of mid term programming, grants are made available for up to 60.000 €.

The PSF is focused on Human Rights Defenders organisations who are particularly vulnerable due to gender, sexual orientation, the issue they work on (e.g. land rights; anti-corruption), or their geographical location (e.g. remote or rural areas, conflict area). Priority will be given to organisations working in a country where PI is present and those who include the protection as part of other action under the EIDHR.

Some typical actions eligible for support include the covering of the cost of consultations to structure an early warning system, activities related with rest or wellbeing measures, in-country exchange visits to organise international relocation options, and residence or office security measure, among others.

  • FIDH FIDH operates a public grant-making mechanism to strengthen and sustain sensitive initiatives by local Human Rights Defenders organisations, advertised on its website and via its regional desks. Read more
  • OMCT OMCT provides support to local human rights organisations from any region of the world in order to enable them to consolidate their operational activities. Read more
  • RSF RSF supports journalists and bloggers in the field by organising campaigns, by providing legal aid, financial assistance and safety equipment and protection (bullet-proof vests, helmets, handbooks and insurance), and by providing training and assistance with digital safety. Read more
  • UAF UAF supports women and transgender human rights defenders (WHuman Rights Defenders)'s organisations when they face unanticipated threats and during political windows of opportunity in Asia & Oceania, the Middle East, and within marginalised communities in Europe and North America. Read more
  • EMHRF EMHRF has an established and open grant-making mechanism that provides modest financial assistance to support emerging sensitive human rights initiatives and to reinforce capacities and the professionalisation of civil society organisations at the local level. Read more
  • PBI PBI has two different and specific programmes to support Human Rights Defenders local organisations in Latin America and Indonesia. Read more
  • Protection International Protection International has a Protection Support Fund (PSF) to help organisations to incorporate the cost of protection measures in their regular fund-raising. Read more

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