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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.