Support to Human Rights Defenders at risk

The NHRF supports organisations working for the protection of human rights defenders at risk. Project applications in this category are assessed independently from the NHRF's geographical priorities.

In addition to the country- specific support, the NHRF has supported initiatives and started to build a programme on protection of human rights defenders at risk in the 2013-2015 period. The june 2016 report gives an overview of the efforts supported, visualizes to what extent it has fulfilled the aim of the strategy to this programmatic support, and gives insight as to what may be ahead for the NHRF’s support of HRDs. 

Even before this strategic period, the NHRF has made efforts to support human rights defenders. Since the NHRF’s inception in 1988 it has aimed at being a flexible, risk taking and responsive contributor to human rights defenders working in the frontline of defence for human rights. Since 2011, the NHRF has enhanced its focus on working conditions for supported human rights organisations and defenders by: working closer with more organisations specialising in security; creating "Guidelines on Security for Grantees in the Field"  and providing capacity building and extra funds, so grantees can address their security issues while undertaking their work. 

For HRD Grantseekers

The NHRF’s grant support is open to organisations working for the protection of human rights defenders (HRD) independent from the geographical priorities above. HRD grants can be given to organisations, institutions, networks and groups working for the protection of human rights defenders regardless of the country of origin, however at least one the following aims of the program must be met:

  • Better protection of human rights defenders at risk
  • Better working conditions for human rights defenders
  • Support human rights defenders were the situation is critical

Also, HRD projects with the following qualities are prioritised:

  • Project that can avert immediate risk or give immediate relief;
  • Project that focuses on defenders situation needing special attention, such as women HRDs and HRDs from vulnerable and marginalised groups;
  • Project that work with a meaningful link between local/national/international level.

The NHRF does not support individual HRDs, but focuses on organisations, institutions, networks and groups working for the protection of HRDs. To read more about the NHRF conditions for support and priorities, please read our FAQ for Grantseekers