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01.10.15

Emergency material support to human rights defenders at risk

OMCT,including in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of HumanRights Defenders, provides material assistance and emergency support to humanrights defenders at risk working in the most difficult circumstances, in anyregion of the world.


OMCT material assistance and emergency support aim at responding toemergency requests for assistance submitted by human rights defenders andorganisations at risk. These can cover medical support (including psycho-socialsupport and rehabilitation); legal support; social assistance (including familysupport); physical security; digital security; communications; capacitybuilding in security; secure transportation; support to temporary relocationwhere necessary; etc.


Each request received is subjected to a preliminary inquiry, done incollaboration with members of the OMCT SOS-Torture Network or other reliablepartners in the field. This inquiry is comprehensive and thorough as it allowsfor the verification of information provided and needs expressed, as well asfor the eligibility of costs. It also permits an assessment of the type ofemergency intervention that is necessary.

1) Who canapply?


Applications for material assistance and emergency support grants to humanrights defenders and organisations at risk are evaluated on a case-by-casebasis.

Eligibleapplicants for receiving financial support should meet the following 3 criteriaof identity, situation and needs:

1. The applicant is a human rights defender or organisation working indefence of human rights in accordance with the UnitedNations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (human rights defenders,regardless of their identity, origin or position, who are working to promoteand protect universally recognised human rights and freedoms of third parties -acting individually or as part of a group - and using peaceful and non-violentmeans in their work);

2. The applicant is facing risks because of his/her human rights work;

3. The applicant needs emergency support (lack of access to alternativesources of support will be taken into account).

Defenders atrisk working in any region of the world are encouraged to apply, and inparticular:

· Human rights defenders working in the most difficultcountries and/or in remote locations;

· Human rights defenders who are particularly targetedbecause of the issues they work on, including women human rights defenders,defenders of LGBTI rights, land and environmental rights, activists fightingagainst torture and ill-treatment, challenging violations of economic, socialand cultural rights, defending the rights of indigenous peoples, minorities,people with disabilities, migrants and stateless persons, trade unionistspromoting labour rights, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and others promotingfundamental freedoms, etc.


2) For which type of support?


OMCT material assistance and emergency support is as concrete and personalisedas possible, with the aim of ensuring the security and protection of defendersat risk, as well as of their family and work environment.


Costs eligible for financial support or direct material support to humanrights defenders and organisations include the following:

- physical security;

- digital security;

- communications;

- medical support (including psycho-social support andrehabilitation) to defenders who have suffered a medical condition as a resultof their peaceful human rights activities;

- legal support for human rights defenders judiciallyharassed;

- humanitarian assistance (including family support);

- support to temporary relocation where necessary;

- capacity building in security;

- secure transportation;

- urgent monitoring, reporting and advocacy;

- etc.

3) How toapply?


Applications for an emergency grant can be submitted by any human rightsdefender or NGO who is facing risks because of their human rights work and inneed of urgent support.


Please use the Application Form available in English,Frenchor Spanish,and send it by email or fax to:


OMCT International Secretariat
Human Rights Defenders Programme

Email:grants[at]omct.org
Tel: +41 22 809 49 39
Fax: +41 22 809 49 29


To submit the application form by encrypted email, kindly contact OMCTInternational Secretariat at the above-mentioned email address.

The amount of the grants allocated shall be generallyup to EUR 3,000, however every request will be assessed on a case by casebasis.

A grantagreement will be signed with human rights defenders receiving emergencymaterial support, specifying the purpose of the grant, the mutual obligationsand the reporting requirements.

Allapplicants will receive a written response whether or not their application issuccessful.


Human rights defenders or organisations receiving emergency support will berequired to provide a short narrative and financial report as well as originalreceipts of related expenses six weeks after the grant is allocated.This report will include information on what measures they have implemented andwhat impact this has had on their capacity to manage their security as well aswhether there has been any change to the level of risk that they face. If areport including all original receipts is not received on completion of thegrant the applicant will no longer be eligible for any further grants and willbe asked to return the funding.

Download thereporting form here



OMCT is a memberof ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union HumanRights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.


OMCT wishes to thank the EuropeanUnion and the Republic and Canton of Geneva for their support. The content ofthis page is the sole responsibility of OMCT and should in no way beinterpreted as reflecting the view(s) of the supporting institutions.


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