Call for concept notes: Protecting Human Rights Defenders and the Right to Defend Rights

Asia: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.

Geographical location: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. Regional initiatives that include human rights defenders from one or more of the listed countries are also welcome to apply.

Thematic area and target groups: Protection of human rights defenders at risk, the right to defend rights, digital security, psychosocial support, pressure on and repression of civil society. Initiatives with a strong gender focus will be prioritized.

Amount: 15-25,000 USD. Please note that the proposed project budget must be proportionate to the applicant’s current annual budget and must not exceed an amount that is more than double the current annual budget.

Project timeline: One year (12 months)

Project start date: End of 2021/beginning of 2022*.

Deadline for registration and concept note: 18 April 2021

*NB: This call is part of the NHRF’s resource mobilisation, and grantmaking is dependent upon positive response from the NHRF’s network.


Call for concept notes: Protecting Human Rights Defenders and the Right to Defend Rights

The NHRF is opening a specialised and limited call for concept notes for projects contributing to building resilience, adaptability and increased safety and security for human rights defenders and human rights movements. Projects focusing on digital security and new technological threats used against human rights defenders and projects that seek to give psychosocial and multifaceted support to human rights defenders will be prioritized. The applicant should explain how the initiative will lead to a positive change for human rights defenders in their local communities.

The NHRF supports projects that focus on traditional as well as innovative methods, involving:

  • the use of advocacy to increase the respect for and commitment to human rights defenders and their role in society
  • strategic networking with a diversity of stakeholders to build a wider and more diverse support base for human rights defenders and their legitimate role
  • the arts and artistic mediums used to build campaigns of awareness and protection advocacy for human rights defenders
  • new partnerships between human rights defenders and business to support an enabling environment for defending rights
  • work with national and UN mandates and mechanisms for protection of human rights defenders
  • capacity development and/or training of trainers
  • mentoring of human rights defenders
  • Organisations with strong female leadership (e.g. organisations led by women and/or organisations with women in leadership (not only administrative) positions

Successful applicants MUST:

  • Have a minimum of 2 years proven experience working with human rights defenders and their security.
  • Have a strategic and targeted approach on structural human rights change, for the right to defend rights and the improved security of human rights defenders.
  • Be located in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand or Myanmar. Regional initiatives that include human rights defenders from one or more of the listed countries are welcome to apply. International organisations are not eligible.
  • Have an annual budget under 150,000 USD. (Applicants with a budget over 150 000 USD can submit applications only if they are able to document a special need or reason for why they should be prioritized by the NHRF in this call.)

Priority will be given to:

  • 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, minorities and persons with disabilities
  • Organisations that work with women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ- defenders, environmental defenders and trade union activists
  • Organisations that have proven experience from working in networks, both nationally and regionally
  • Organisations focusing on digital security and psychosocial support

How to apply

Organisations working within the thematic area are invited to complete the eligibility quiz and concept note form in the NHRF application portal. You will also be asked to upload an overview of a one-year budget of the proposed project. Applicants must adhere to the word limits within the submission form.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOLLOWS:

The call for concept notes will be open until the deadline of April 18, 2021. The NHRF will review submissions and then make a shortlist of applicants that will be invited to submit a full application. This process could take time - up to 6 months - so we ask applicants to please be patient with our processes.

Concept notes submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Concept notes that do not meet all the listed criteria will not be considered. The NHRF is a small organisation with limited administrative capacity to respond to the expected volume of received concept notes, therefore organisations that have not been selected to move forward in the application process will not be contacted. Please do not contact the NHRF regarding the status of your concept note as you will not receive a response.

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 and human rights defenders at risk. Please visit the NHRF’s page for grantseekers for more information.

Illustration: Rohama Malik.

Deadline for registration and concept note: 18 April 2021

Please register and start the application process here.