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Offer: LoI: Supporting Human Rights & Their Defenders Where They Are Most At Risk (EuropeAid/134288/C/ACT/Multi) - Deadline: Aug 1st, 2013

EUROPEAN INSTRUMENT FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS (EIDHR):
SUPPORTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND THEIR DEFENDERS WHERE THEY ARE MOST AT RISK (EuropeAid/134288/C/ACT/Multi)

in June 2004 the Council of the European Union 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.

This Call for Proposals aims at selecting actions with a view to contributing to the achievement of the Objectives 1 and 3 of the EIDHR Strategy Paper 2011-20135.
Objective 1 aims at "Enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries where they are most at risk", and Objective 3 aims at "supporting actions on human rights and democracy issues in areas covered by EU Guidelines (…) including on Human Rights Defenders".

Human rights defenders are those individuals, groups and organs of society that promote and protect universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms. Human rights defenders seek the promotion and protection of civil and political rights as well as the promotion, protection and realisation of economic, social and cultural rights. Human rights defenders also promote and protect the rights of members of groups such as indigenous communities. The definition does not include those individuals or groups who commit or propagate violence.

The global objective of this Call for Proposals is to enhance the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and situations where they are most at risk and where human rights defenders and civil society organisations work under severe constraints and are most under pressure.

The specific objective of this Call for Proposals is to support and protect human rights and their defenders by reinforcing their capacities to do their work in the short and long-term, as well as providing tangible support and means of action to local civil society in the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in some of the world's most difficult, dangerous, repressive and unpredictable political situations and/or where they are the most vulnerable and threatened.

For the purpose of this call for proposals, the concept "most at risk" refers to regions, countries and situations characterised by a serious lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; where human rights and fundamental freedoms are systematically violated; where there exists high risk to human security making it difficult for civil society and human rights defenders to operate, and where there is little or no room for political pluralism.

This is a restricted Call for Proposals:
In the first instance, only Concept Notes must be submitted for evaluation.
Thereafter, applicants who have been pre-selected will be invited to submit a Full Application Form.
After the evaluation of the Full Applications, an eligibility check will be performed for those which have been provisionally selected.

Prior registration in EuropeAid's on-line database, PADOR, is obligatory for applicants, coapplicants and affiliated entities (except for natural persons and entities without legal personality) under the present call for proposals. The PADOR system is available at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/onlineservices/pador/index_en.htm (see section 2.2 for details). Applicants must be registered before submitting the concept note.
It is up to the applicant to identify the target area and prove the gravity of the violations with reference to direct and proven knowledge of the issues to be addressed, independent monitoring reports and/or specific indicators. This is essential to establish the relevance of the action: the more serious the situation, the higher the priority.

Actions may not take place in countries from the European Economic Area (EEA) nor in an EU acceding country nor in a country recognized by the EU as an official candidate or potential candidate country.

Regardless of the geographic restrictions, actions under both lots must at least address one of the following priorities:
1. To contribute to improving the situation relating to the following human rights and fundamental freedoms (objective 1):
a. the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief;
b. the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including artistic and cultural expression; the right to information and to communicate offline and online; the freedom of the media,
c. the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, including the right to form and join a trade union;
d. the right to freedom of movement within the borders of a state, and the right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country;
e. the right to equality before the law and access to justice, including the right to a fair trial and due process;
f. the right to non-discrimination based on any ground such as gender, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation
g. economic, social and cultural rights, including environmental rights and access to natural resources;
h. the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in situations of crises response, including natural disasters.

2. To provide support and protection to human rights defenders in those countries and regions where they are the most persecuted and subject to repression (objective 3).
This support must ensure the following elements:
a. the security, privacy and protection of human rights defenders and their work;
b. the provision of direct financial, material, technical and other forms of tangible support to allow human rights defenders to carry out their work, as well as the reinforcement of their capacities, including organisational and financial, with a view of ensuring the sustainability of their actions in the future.
c. the sensitization of national and international public opinion about the work and role of human rights defenders in the promotion and defence of democracy and human rights, with a view to breaking the isolation and social exclusion they often endure in their communities.

The action should be addressed mainly to local human rights defenders and civil society organizations, in particular those living and operating outside the country capitals and in remote areas.

The gravity and persistence of the violations together with the relevance of the action addressing them are the key considerations for assessing and prioritising action proposals.

Applicants are asked to ensure that the action foresees the necessary human, financial and material resources for the implementation of the activities in the budget.

Deadline for submission of Concept notes: 1st August at 16h, Brussels's date and time

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