Eligibility Criteria

 

1. Activities that are supported

2. Grant Size and Period of Support

3. Countries Eligible for Support

4. Human Rights Organisations and Individuals Eligible for Support

5. Code of Conduct upon which Eligible Activities should be built

1. Activities that are supported

The Foundation aims at providing financial support to regional, national and local human rights NGOs and institutes as well as individuals who promote, support, protect and monitor the observance of human rights in the South-Mediterranean region, in particular:

  • Urgent relief of human rights organisations or members of human rights organisations under pressure or attack
  • Funds to support initiatives the timing of which is crucial for their success
  • Funds to cover basic costs and activities of organisations and groups that work in countries where explicit support by foreign donors may endanger these vis-à-vis their own authorities
  • Funds to support innovative projects
  • Funds to build capacity of ongoing (often innovative) activities or the setting up of structures by individuals or organisations who:
    • Have not yet gained mainstream donor recognition,
    • Do not have the capacity to maintain relations with these
    • Work with issues that may be perceived too sensitive to receive main donors' support
    • Fall outside mainstream donor categories, such as South human rights organisations in Diaspora working in support of human rights promotion and protection in their home country.

When evaluating an application, the Foundation will take into account potential financial support that could be obtained from other organizations or institutions involved at the national, regional or international level. In such cases, the Foundation will endeavour to refer the applications to such potential funding partners, especially concerning the following fields:

  • Physical Protection
  • Fellowships
  • Urgent Alert
  • Legal and political protection and solidarity
  • Appeals and interventions to intergovernmental mechanisms of the United Nations and regional instances (Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa)
  • Information and public awareness campaigns on human rights violations and those of its victims

2. Grant Size and Period of Support

Grants are subject to a EUR 40.000 ceiling and typically range from EUR 1.000 to EUR 30.000.

The period of support may not exceed 12-18 months and will include an evaluation based on criteria established before providing the grant to ensure the effective and optimal use of funds from the Foundation.

3. Countries Eligible for Support

The support mechanism is aimed at defenders who pursue human rights activities in the following countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Syria, and Palestine.

Special attention is devoted to the countries of the region where the needs are especially critical because of the regional context (Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt).

Projects with positive spill-over effects outside the region (for example in Europe and the Persian Gulf) may eventually receive funding if it is shown that they can have a positive impact on the situation of human rights defenders in the region.

4. Human Rights Organisations and Individuals Eligible for Support

Given the lack of a formal, comprehensive definition of human rights defender, the EMHRF applies the following criteria, while remaining flexible in its assessment of the eligibility of the cases that are brought to its attention.


The Foundation aims at supporting human rights defenders, regardless of their gender, in consideration of the following:

  • Their activities in promoting and protecting the universally recognised rights and freedoms of third parties;
  • Their activities as individuals or as a group;
  • Their use of peaceful and non-violent means in their work.

The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders contains an enumeration of the areas of intervention by human rights defenders. The following potential beneficiaries of the Foundation are identified:

Defenders of human rights in their individual capacity, members of human rights associations, associations for women's rights, lawyers, journalists, judges, members of religious, ethnic and/or linguistic minorities, organisations for civic education and youths, associations working against different forms of discrimination, associations working against violence committed against women, members of organisations working for the rights of children, organisations working for the rehabilitation of torture victims, activists in the field of penal and prison reforms, associations for anti-corruption and good governance, activists around the theme of ‘human rights and international trade’, activists in the field of free and fair elections, organisations for the defence of migrants and refugees.

There are other groups or organisations whose activities fall within the domain of promoting and protecting human rights, but who are ideally able to benefit from the support of specific international networks. These include:

Trade unionists, writers, members of parliament, environmental activists, activists for development (fight against poverty, urban rehabilitation, projects of rural integration, groups on income generating activities, etc) and activities in the area of health care and epidemics.

For this group of activists, their eligibility with the Foundation depends on a case by case assessment.

All of the individuals, groups or entities who are or may be the targets of violations of their fundamental rights as defined in regional and international human rights instruments, are eligible for financial assistance from the EMHRF without any prerequisites other than the purpose and autonomous nature of their activities.

5. Code of Conduct upon which Eligible Activities should be built

The Foundation refers explicitly to a number of instruments and documents that serve both as legal and ethical guidelines for the Foundation and its beneficiaries.

On the basis of the reference to ‘all human rights and… all fundamental freedoms’, human rights defenders are identified by their commitment to improving the protection of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as defined in, among others, the following regional and international legal instruments:

  • UN legal instruments pertaining to human rights, including: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the international covenants on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights; the conventions providing for monitoring mechanisms (torture, racial discrimination, discrimination against women, the rights of the child, rights of migrant workers and their families); and the conventions and standards of the International Labour Organization;
  • Special procedures and non-treaty mechanisms of the United Nations;
  • The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;
  • The UN resolution establishing the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on human rights defenders;
  • The EU guidelines on human rights defenders;
  • The association agreements between the EU and the countries of the Mediterranean region, as well as the provisions of national action plans under the European Neighbourhood Policy.

In addition, the principle of the code of conduct implies that, the applicant has to agree to a ‘non-violence clause’ excluding the use of violence to advance political aims.