Providing 24/7 support to Human Rights Defenders


The applications for emergency support grants to individuals at risk are evaluated on a case by case basis and considering the criteria of identity, situation and needs as follows:

  1. The applicant is a human rights defender working for human rights in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders;
  2. The applicant is facing risks because of his/her human rights work;
  3. The applicant needs urgent support (lack of access to alternative sources of support will be taken into account).

No EU funded grant will exceed 10,000 € The different partner organisations may also apply additional criteria or limits.

The list of types of activities eligible for emergency financial and material support to Human Rights Defenders at risk includes:

  1. Physical security;
  2. Digital security;
  3. Communications;
  4. Capacity building in security;
  5. Secure transportation;
  6. Legal support;
  7. Medical support (including psycho-social support and rehabilitation);
  8. Humanitarian assistance (including family support);
  9. Urgent relocation;
  10. Urgent monitoring, reporting and advocacy;
  11. Other

Hotline provides 24/7 support to Human Rights Defenders facing immediate risk through the emergency helpline run by Front Line Defenders.

Hotline +353 (0) 1 21 00 489

Skype call

Secure web form

The hotline works at any hour and any day and gives the option to be forwarded to someone speaking Arabic, English, French, Russian or Spanish who will be able to mobilise rapid international support and action.

Through its partners, undertakes urgent actions, which can include faxed or phoned appeals to the relevant authorities, raising the case through the EU or individual government representatives, practical help with temporary relocation or assistance with medical or legal expenses.

Secure web form Human rights defenders in need of urgent assistance from can also send an encrypted message through a secure channel via secure contact form.

Human rights defenders may contact via encrypted email using GPG or PGP using the public keys of the relevant staff.

Please note that whilst this provides secure one-way encryption similar to that provided by banks, the enquirer needs to provide information on how they should be contacted in response in a way that will be secure for them.

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Emergency support delivers a fast and specific EU response to support Human Rights Defenders at risk. The emergency grants programme ensures that Human Rights Defenders can access and implement urgent security measures to protect themselves, their family and their work.

The mechanism provides 24/7 urgent support for Human Rights Defenders facing imminent danger or threats. In the event of a crisis, defenders can contact through the permanent emergency helpline and the secure contact form.

The emergency grants programme aims to reach every corner of the world, including most difficult countries and remote locations, and to provide urgent support to all Human Rights Defenders, especially those within the most vulnerable and targeted groups. delivers the emergency support through the established emergency grants programmes of its partners Front Line Defenders, FIDH, OMCT, RSF, UAF, EMHRF, Forum Asia and EHAHRDP, which also draw on non-EU funding to provide rapid practical support to human rights defenders at risk.

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Front Line Defenders


Front Line Defenders has an established security grant mechanism for Human Rights Defenders at risk worldwide and, in the event of a crisis, the aim is to approve emergency grants within 48 hours. The application form and information is readily available in six languages. The maximum security grant provided by Front Line Defenders is 7,500 Euros. In 2015 Front Line Defenders provided more than 1,200,000 Euros in grants to 450 Human Rights Defenders in 69 countries, with an average grant of 2,700 Euros.

Reporters without borders


RSF supports journalists and bloggers in the field by organising campaigns, by providing legal aid, financial assistance and safety equipment and protection (bullet-proof vests, helmets, handbooks and insurance), and by providing training and assistance with digital safety. Governments and international institutions all over the world talk to Reporters Without Borders, which publishes a World Press Freedom Index every year. RSF provides financial aid to journalists, bloggers, citizen journalists, news providers, as well as to their families, under threat or victims of exactions in the world. RSF is helped in those tasks by its local correspondents. Each case being unique, the amount of the grant is decided by the Head of the Assistance desk with the head of the adequate geographical desk.



FIDH, under the Observatory for the Protection of Human rights Defenders, manages an emergency fund for Human Rights Defenders at risk, advertised on its website which allows to allocate financial support or direct material support to a defender or an NGO at risk. Application forms are readily available in a English, French and Spanish. FIDH accepts applications by email, including encrypted email.


English Application

French Application

Spanish Application

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)


OMCT, including in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, provides material assistance and emergency support to at risk human rights defenders working in the most difficult circumstances, in any region of the world.

Eligible expenses for financial support or direct material support to human rights defenders and human rights organisations include the following: physical security; legal support; medical support (including psycho-social support and rehabilitation); social assistance (including family support); support to temporary relocation where necessary; digital security; communications; capacity building in security; secure transportation; urgent monitoring, reporting and advocacy; etc.

Applications for an emergency grant can be submitted by any human rights defender or NGO who is facing risks because of his/her human rights work and in need of urgent support. Please use the application form available in English, French or Spanish, which can be downloaded here, and send it by post, email or fax to:

OMCT International Secretariat
Human Rights Defenders Programme
Email: grants[at]
Tel: +41 22 809 49 39
Fax: +41 22 809 49 29

To submit the application form by encrypted email, kindly contact OMCT International Secretariat.



EHAHRDP has an established protection mechanism for emergency situations, as well as a 24-hour anonymous, confidential and free emergency line for Defenders (ADD LINK) seeking help, support and information in the East and Horn of Africa, available in English, French, Arabic and Swahili.

EHAHRDP’s identified priority areas include Women Human Rights Defenders, Human Rights Defenders working on sexual minorities issues, Defenders in Zones of Armed Conflict, and Journalists fighting end of impunity and corruption, Human Rights Defenders working on natural resources and extractive industries, and Human Rights Defenders working on electoral processes. EHAHRDP geographic coverage reaches Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (including Somaliland), Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.



EMHRF has an established urgent-response mechanism to timely allocate a protection grant to a Human Rights Defender or an NGO at risk in the amount of approx. 5,000 Euros. The maximum emergency grant provided by EMHRF is 6,000 Euros. Any Human Rights Defender or NGO from the South Mediterranean region in need of urgent support for his/her/its protection must present an application either in Arabic, English or French, meeting the guidelines made public on its website. In 2015, EMHRF provided more than 200,000 Euros in grants to 53 individual Human Rights Defenders and 6 NGOs at risk, with an average grant of 5,100 Euros.

Guidelines for Emergency intervention

English Version

Version Française

النسخة العربية

Forum Asia


Forum Asia has an assistance programme, including temporary relocation solutions, for human rights defenders facing emergency situations in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia [Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste]. All applications should be endorsed by one of FORUM-Asia's member/partner organisations and shall be submitted to FORUM-Asia in English.

FORUM-Asia does not provide emergency assistance for retrospective funding or defenders who have applied or are already receiving funding for the same purpose elsewhere.

Urgent Action Fund
– For Women's Human Rights (UAF)


UAF maintains an open, online application process for rapid security grants that is available 24/7. UAF funds women and transgender human rights defenders (WHRD) under threat in Asia & Oceania, the Middle East, and within marginalised communities in Europe and North America. UAF prioritises support to WHRD that are working as part of organisations, networks, or social movements for the achievement of women's human rights and/or LGBTIQ human rights.

Defenders in Africa and Latin America are funded by UAF's independent sister funds: UAF-Africa (based in Kenya) and UAF-Latin America (based in Colombia).

Application forms are readily available in a dozen languages and additional languages are accommodated by UAF as needed. UAF additionally accepts applications by encrypted email, SMS text or voice memo. Rapid security grant requests are reviewed 24/7 and feedback is provided within 24 hours. Security grants are awarded within approximately three days from the time of request.

Apply for an emergency grant

To request an emergency grant, apply here:

Or directly to the following programs: will assess applications on a case-by-case basis, by reviewing the Grants Application Form received. However, prior to relocating a Human Rights Defender outside his/ her community, preventive measures for personal security and protection will be prioritised (Emergency Support).

Applications should be conform to the Grants Applications Guidelines. accepts applications sent directly by individuals at risk or by potential host organisations, including members of the EU Temporary Relocation Platform acting on behalf of Human Rights Defenders. When needed, also tries to connect Human Rights Defenders with potential hosts. In case of emergency, an answer can be provided within 5 days.

Host institutions in the global South will be eligible for 95 % funding of the relocation costs. Host organisations based in other countries will be expected to contribute 50% of the costs for each relocated Human Rights Defender.

Download form


Download guidelines


Applications and more information queries shall be addressed to

Please note that is also possible to communicate with via encrypted email (gpg) or encrypted chat (Jitsi)

Apply for a temporary relocation grant

When preventive and protection measures for personal security are not enough, temporary relocation sometimes emerges as a necessary measure to protect Human Rights Defenders, alleviate the enormous pressure they suffer from and enable them to continue their work. allocates grants for Human Rights Defenders at risk to temporary relocate within their country or abroad, in case of urgent threat. During the relocation period, Defenders are able to rest, seek rehabilitation, build their capacities through training, expand their international network of contacts, pursue their human rights work from a secure location and prepare their safe return.

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EU Temporary Relocation Platform

The EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform (EUTRP) is a global platform of national, regional and international organisations involved in programmes for the temporary relocation of Human Rights Defenders.

Its objective is to take the lead in crisis situations for Defenders at risk, facilitate and ensure their temporary relocation at every stage.

The platform encourages the participation of all organisations already working on relocation for Human Rights Defenders and actively seeks for new stakeholders and new potential hosts, such as organisations, cities or universities that might participate in temporary relocation programmes.

The activities of the platform include identifying Human Rights Defenders in need of relocation and providing temporary shelter for them, within their own country or region or outside it, if necessary. The EUTRP also provides relocated Defenders with capacity-building and opportunities to broaden their network.

The EUTRP website is a portal to bring together all members of the platform, as well as a source of information for actors interested in knowing more about Human Rights Defenders and how to get involved in temporary relocation initiatives.

For more information, please contact Guus van Zwoll, Coordinator of the EU Temporary Relocation Platform,

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Worldwide, awareness of the risks, threats and hostile situations faced by Human Rights Defenders in their daily work has increased. Building capacities of local Human Rights Defenders to cope with their environment has therefore become one of the priorities of

In order to enhance their capacities and address direct demands from the field, implements a programme of trainings to meet the security needs of Human Rights Defenders, providing them with additional knowledge and tools.

Trainings are conducted on protection, physical and digital security, security plans, advocacy tools, risk assessments and campaigning strategies in order to strengthen Human Rights Defenders' long- term abilities to undertake their own risk assessments and how to mitigate them. Some trainings focus on psychological support for human rights defenders working in stressful and repressive environments. Capacity-building activities also include elements to develop the financial, managerial and operational capacities of Human Rights Defenders. These elements are crucial to promote Human Rights Defenders' security at organisational level, and to increase the sustainability of their work. partners have extensive experience in conducting trainings, producing training materials, offering digital security consultancies to Human Rights Defenders, providing hands on support and advice in any part of the world. They are engaged in a long term approach to capacity building, aiming to not only transfer new tools, but also to accompany Human Rights Defenders in their organisational change processes. develops the training and information programme through its partners Front Line Defenders, FIDH, OMCT, RSF, Forum Asia, EHAHRDP (Defend defenders), Peace Brigades International, Protection International, ILGA and ESCR-Net.

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