Support fund to enhance the capacity of local human rights defenders organisations

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FIDH manages a support fund to strengthen the capacities of local human rights defenders (HRDs) organisations to prevent and respond to developments adversely affecting the human rights and the HRDs’ situations.

The specific objectives of the support will be to strengthen and sustain sensitive initiatives by local HRDs organisations (including loose and unregistered groupings) 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.

The key criteria used to allocate funding will be:
1 – The applicant is a human rights organisation working in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;
2 – The applicant organisation is facing risks because of its human rights work;
3 – The applicant needs emergency support (lack of access to alternative sources of support will be taken into consideration);

Applicant HRDs organisations will need the support/recommendation of others in the human rights movement.

This medium to longer term support should especially be directed at 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 legally registered in their countries of operation, those in need of a timely and flexible response, and those working in remote/isolated areas). Priority will be given to HRDs organisations working on most difficult countries.

The types of activities eligible for financial support will include:

1/ Consolidating operational capacities of local HRDs organisations, allowing them to develop sensitive initiatives and/or sustain their work. The funding of operational activities rarely covered by other donors yet important to the medium to long term prospects for HRDs will be considered in priority, such as:

- leveraging emerging local initiatives, especially ones in isolated areas, whose timeliness with respect to on-the-ground developments is crucial to influence the human rights or HRDs’ situation at the local level, or strengthening HRD protection structures, such as networks, focal points or others;

- providing a lifeline to local organisations that are ‘endangered’ by unexpected and/or grave security, financial, legal or administrative situations through bridging funds or other financial means - where otherwise not available - allowing them to remain operative.

2/ Expanding capacities to implement local innovative activities and projects to prevent and respond to infringements facing HRDs and their organisations, and to advance a human rights agenda. Strategies related to advocacy or public campaigns, capacity building and trainings, documentation and printing of materials, joint development and implementation of protection plans by HRD organisations and networks etc. will be pursued under such type of activities. In particular:

- 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 defence, 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 criminalization of human rights defenders in countries in situations of early warning, and to support initiatives for legal and policy changes (enabling environment, protection Mechanism), etc.

How to apply

Applicants seeking a grant in support of their activities must submit a written request to the email address in English, French or Spanish that meets the below-mentioned guidelines.

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.

You can download the application form here.

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