Call for proposals: India

The world of informal workers - women at work and decent working conditions.

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund is accepting applications from human rights organisations working with workers' rights, informal workers, and decent work conditions in India.

Geographical location: India (priority will be given to South India)

Thematic area and target groups: Human rights, workers’ rights, women workers, informal sector, modern forms of slavery, garment and textile industries

Amount: 15-25,000 USD (max. 25,000 USD), per year

Project timeline: 3 years, divided in 12-months grants

Expected project start: March 2020*

Deadline concept note: September 15, 2019

* NB: This call is part of a larger NHRF application to a back donor, and thus dependent on the positive approval of this application. The result of the NHRF application will not be known before the end of 2019/beginning of 2020.

About the NHRF

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) works to protect and promote human rights internationally through direct support to organisations working in the first line of defence for human rights. The NHRF aims to be a flexible, courageous and global actor that provides direct support to local organisations working for the rights of vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups.

About the call for proposal

The NHRF seeks to increase our support to human rights organisations working with workers' rights and decent work conditions – with a specific focus on the female work force and the informal sector. We see this work as essential for the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) within 2030 and the global work against modern forms of slavery. Local human rights organisations and human rights defenders are key actors in this work. The projects should focus on vulnerable and marginalized workers, especially women, and especially within the sector of garment and textile.

Please visit the NHRF’s website for more information.

You may also contact the NHRF’s local consultant, email:

How to apply

Organisations working within the thematic area are invited to complete the eligibility quiz and submit a short (strict one-page limit) concept note that summarizes the following:

  • The organisation’s experience working in the field of human rights related to workers’ rights, informal sector, female workers, garment and textile industries. Describe all links/connections to the target group(s).
  • A clear description that shows the change you want to see for the target group(s) and how they will have had their rights protected or increased during this period. The description should have a three-year outlook, but with a specific description of the first year.
  • The methodology that will be used to implement the project.
  • A description of how the grant will help strengthen the organisation implementing the project.
  • The extent of female leadership/women in leadership position in the organization.
  • An overview of the first year’s budget. This can be included on an additional page.
  • The amount for the 2018 annual organisational budget should be specified in a separate line at the top of the budget.

Organisations that meet the following criteria will be prioritized


  • Organisation located and working in India. Priority will be given to organizations in South India.
  • Proven experience of working on human rights, workers’ rights, women workers, informal sector and the garment and textile industries.
  • A strategic and targeted approach on structural human rights change and for access to justice for vulnerable groups affected by human rights violations related to workers’ rights and modern forms of slavery.

Other priorities:

  • Organisations with an annual budget under 150,000 USD will be prioritized
  • Organisations with strong female leadership (e.g. organisations led by women and/or organisations with women in leadership (not only administrative) positions
  • Organisations that are led by the target group or that have a strong link to the community and have special competence in the thematic area of focus
  • Organisations that adapt an inclusive approach, for example for gender, caste, minorities and people with disabilities
  • Organisations using methods that involve advocacy, targeted awareness raising, legal empowerment, and/or activism in marginalised communities.

Proposed projects are not limited to these methods, but must include one or more of these methods for the strategic implementation of the project.


The call for proposals will be open until the deadline of September 15. The review process will begin immediately after the deadline. The final approval of the projects selected is dependent on the positive approval of the NHRF application to our back donor, and thus a final answer cannot be given until end of 2019/beginning of 2020.

Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Proposals that do not meet all the listed criteria will not be considered. The NHRF has limited capacity, therefore please do not contact the NHRF regarding the status of your concept note, as we might not be able to respond. All organisations that have sent concept notes, including those selected to move forward in the application process, will get a notice and be contacted, but it might take some time.

Please register and start the application here.

Apply here

Register in the NHRF grant portal and submit the eligibility quiz (EQ) and a one-page concept note.

Deadline: September 15, 2019