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EC Call for proposals on EIDHR - Support to Human Rights Defenders

Budget line 19.04.01
Reference: EuropeAid/129204/C/ACT/Multi
Deadline for submission of Concept Notes: 3 September
Geographical Zone : All Countries

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR1) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 20 December 2006 and entered into force on 1 January 2007. This thematic instrument is the European Union's main financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in its external relations.

The general objectives of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights are to contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law as well as to the respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, within the framework of the European Union’s policy on development cooperation with third countries and consistently with the EU’s foreign policy as a whole.

The EIDHR is designed to help civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. Building on its key strength, which is the ability to operate without the need for host government consent, the EIDHR is able to focus on sensitive political issues and innovative approaches and to cooperate directly with local civil society organisations which need to preserve independence from public
authorities, providing for great flexibility and increased capacity to respond to changing circumstances.

The EIDHR is applied at national, regional and international levels and supports actions carried out throughout the world, including in EU Member States if relevant to needs in third countries.

The general objective of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy through the support to human rights defenders (HRDs), as established under Objective 3 of the EIDHR Strategy paper 2007-2010.

Support for human rights defenders has long been an integral part of the European Union's external policy on human rights. In June 2004 the Council adopted the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, which provide practical recommendations to streamline EU actions in this field. The Guidelines, which build on the UN Declaration on human rights defenders adopted in 1998, represent the political framework under which financial support is given to defenders through the EIDHR.

Assistance to human rights defenders under this Call will therefore have as main priorities:
  1. To provide short and long-term direct financial, material and other forms of support and protection to human rights defenders, including to those living outside the capitals and in remote areas.
  2. To support and reinforce the capacities of human rights defenders, including those living in remote areas, to carry out their human rights work and to increase their organisational and financial capacities with a view of ensuring the sustainability of their actions in the future.
  3. To increase the awareness among defenders of international and regional mechanisms and instruments to protect human rights defenders such as the EU Guidelines, including among those living in remote areas.
  4. To contribute to break the isolation and social exclusion of human rights defenders in their communities by sensitising national and international public opinion about their work and role in the promotion and defence of human rights and by reinforcing their capacities in networking with other human rights civil society organisations on an international, regional and national level.
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