The Global Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) provides short term assistance, including emergency funds, to human rights defenders (HRDs), including journalists, who are under threat, attack, detention, prosecution, or otherwise at imminent risk due to their work. Assistance may also include protection against other forms of persecution, including slander, smear campaigns, and stigmatization, all serious threats to human rights defenders (HRDs) and their safety.
Types of assistance provided: HRDF can support individuals with financial assistance to improve their, physical security, including for temporary relocation and other security related expenses. We also provide small, short-term emergency grants for medical expenses (including psycho-social care), legal representation, prison visits, trial monitoring, humanitarian assistance, equipment replacement if confiscated and dependent support if family is at imminent risk because of a HRD’s work. By definition, emergency assistance is finite and given to address an acute and immediate threat.
a. Medical Expenses: must be related to threat. For example, if beneficiary survived torture, funds for treatment may be possible but funds for unrelated treatment (e.g. diabetes) is not.
b. Legal Assistance: must be directly related to threat. Identify person or group providing legal representation including rates/contract from lawyer/s. Include time period of assistance.
c. Prison Visits: Identify person/group conducting prison visits. Include the time period of assistance and estimated number of visits.
d. Trial Monitoring: Identify person/group conducting the trial monitoring. Include the time period of assistance and estimated number of court dates.
e. Temporary Relocation: for individual and/or immediate family only. Individual and/or family must be living in the area where the threat is occurring in order to be eligible. Include all related costs: transportation per person, rent cost per month and number of months, food costs per month and number of months.
f. Security: Include quotes for proposed security costs. If you are requesting funds for security guards, we can only provide assistance to non-armed personnel.
g. Humanitarian Assistance: Humanitarian assistance is provided if applicant is unable to continue working or there are salary losses due to the threats. Include related costs such as: transportation per person, rent cost per month and number of months, food costs per month and number of months.
h. Dependent Support: If the applicant’s family is targeted, list dependents and their relationship to the applicant. Include all related costs: rent cost per month and number of months, food costs per month and number of months.
i. Equipment Replacement: List each piece of equipment, quotes for its purchase, and its primary use. Equipment will be replaced only for items that have been damaged, destroyed or confiscated in relation to the current emergency.
Assistance we do not provide:
- If you have applied for or are already receiving funding from another source for the same purpose
- Costs for human rights defenders who are already in exile
- Retroactive funding (including medical and/or legal expenses)
- Legal expenses without detailed documentation on costs to be incurred
- Program or organizational costs such as salaries, office furniture and rent
- Armed security guard(s)
- Purchase of vehicles
Countries where HRD assistance has been provided:
Since its inception in 2007, the Global Human Rights Defenders Fund has provided emergency assistance in 85 countries to over 1700 HRDs most at risk, including lawyers, journalists and media workers, trade unionists, youth defenders, those engaged in activism on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), and those working on land and environmental issues. Women HRDs (WHRDs), including those working for women’s rights and gender equality remain especially at risk. Many of these defenders are targeted not only for what they do, but often for who they are.
We provide emergency support in a secure and timely manner to HRDs at risk in some of the most challenging environments in the world, thus, we also take digital security very seriously, and have a variety of secure communications options, including chat and email with public key encryption, secure internet calls (VoIP) and encrypted chat rooms, and other tools. We would be discuss the best fit for your situation before you send sensitive data.