Financial support to strengthen and sustain sensitive initiatives by local human rights organisations

OMCT provides support tolocal human rights organisations from any region of the world in order toenable them to consolidate their operational activities, allowing them todevelop sensitive initiatives and/or sustain their work, as well as tostrengthen their capacities to implement local innovative activities andprojects to prevent and respond to infringements facing human rights defendersand their organisations.

The objective of thissupport is to reach out, reinforce and sustain the work of local humanrights organisations worldwide (including loose and unregistered groupings)to promote and defend respect for fundamental rights by strengthening their capacitiesto prevent and respond to developments adversely affecting human rights andhuman rights defenders’ movements at the local level, especially in the mostdifficult countries and working on behalf of vulnerable communities.

1) Who canapply?

Applications for grants to receive financial support to strengthen and sustainsensitive initiatives by local human rights organisations are evaluated on acase-by-case basis.

Eligible applicants for receiving financial support should meet the following 3criteria of identity, situation and needs:

1. The applicantis a human rights organisation working in accordance with the UnitedNations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (human rights organisationsthat are working to promote and protect the universally recognised human rightsand freedoms of third parties and using peaceful and non-violent means in theirwork);

2. The applicantorganisation is facing risks because of its human rights work;

3. The applicantneeds emergency support (lack of access to alternative sources ofsupport will be taken into account).

This medium to longer termsupport is especially directed at groups or NGOs that have limited capacity toapproach donors, including those recently established or not having thepossibility to register in their countries of operation, those in need of atimely and flexible response, and those working in remote and isolated areas.

Human rights organisationsat risk working in any region of the world, are encouraged to apply, and inparticular:

· Organisations working in the most difficult countries and/or in remotelocations;

· Organisations particularly targeted because of the issues they work on(including the fight against torture and ill-treatment; the defence of land,environmental and indigenous rights; of women’s and sexual rights; challengesto violations of economic, social and cultural rights, etc.).

2) For which type of activity?

Eligible activities for financial support for local human rightsorganisations include the following:

· Consolidatingoperational capacities of local human rights organisations, allowing themto develop sensitive initiatives and/or sustain their work. Priority will begiven to the funding of operational activities rarely covered by other donorsyet important to the medium to long term prospects for human rights defenders,such as:

- Providing a lifeline to local organisations that are‘endangered’by unexpected and/or grave security, financial, legal or administrativesituations through bridging funds or other financial means - where otherwisenot available - allowing them to remain operative;

- Leveraging emerging and innovative local protectioninitiatives,especially ones in isolated areas, whose timeliness with respect toon-the-ground developments is crucial to influence the human rights or humanrights defenders’ situation at the local level, or strengthening human rightsdefenders protection structures, such as networks, focal points or others;

· Expandingcapacities to implement local innovative activities and projects to preventand respond to infringements facing human rights defenders and theirorganisations, and to advance a human rights agenda. Support will be given tostrategies related to advocacy or public campaigns, capacity building andtrainings, documentation and printing of materials, joint development andimplementation of protection plans by human rights organisations and networksetc.

In particular:

- Campaigning and advocating for the protection of defendersand to advance a human rights agenda, such as through national, regional andinternational campaigns or advocacy missions to counter violations includingcontesting laws, restrictions, sanctions and administrative provisionsrestricting the work of human rights defenders, funding restrictions,defamation and the criminalisation of human rights defenders in countries insituations of early warning, and to support initiatives for legal and policychanges (enabling environment, protection mechanism), etc. OMCT particularlyencourages the submission of applications from NGOs affected by foreign fundingissues.

- Building capacities of localorganisationsby allowing them to obtain and/or conduct specific trainings in areas thatwould assist in protecting them, such as physical and digital security, legaldefence, litigation, etc.

· Longer-termtorture rehabilitation to human rights defenders victims of torture canalso fall among the activities to be funded under OMCT financial support tolocal organisations.

3) How to apply?

Applications for a grant to receive financial support to a local human rightsorganisation can be submitted by any human rights organisation which is facingrisks because of its human rights work and in need of support.

Please use the ApplicationForm available in English,Frenchor Spanish,and send it by email or fax to:Formulaire Financement ONG_FR

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 OMCT InternationalSecretariat at the above-mentioned email address.

Applying organisations willneed to provide evidence of support/recommendation from other professionals inthe human rights movement.

The amount of the grantsallocated shall range from EUR 5,000 to EUR 15,000, with an average of EUR10,000. The duration of support shall not exceed one year.

All applicants will receivea written response whether or not their application is successful.

A grant agreement will besigned with human rights organisations receiving financial support, specifyingthe purpose of the grant, the mutual obligations and the reportingrequirements. Depending on the size of the grant, the release of tranches offunding may be made conditional to reporting and justification.

Human rights organisationsreceiving financial support will be required to provide a narrative andfinancial report as well as original receipts of related expenses sixweeks after the completion of the grant. This report may includequalitative documentation of changes in the operational capacities of humanrights organisations and advocacy outcomes. If a report including all originalreceipts is not received on completion of the grant the applicant will nolonger be eligible for any further grants and will be asked to return thefunding.

OMCT is amember of ProtectDefenders.eu,the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.