The Initiative pour les dé des droits humains dans le monde (French Global Human Rights Defenders Initiative) aims to support civil society organizations and human rights defenders in 10 countries in order to strengthen their protection, effectiveness and visibility and thus increase their impact.

In interaction with the French authorities, whose “human rights and development” strategy adopted in 2019 lists the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs) as one of the four priorities of French diplomacy in this field, five member organizations of the Human Rights Platform will carry out a three-year pilot project, together with their partners in the field, to strengthen the space for civil society and HRD support in ten countries.

This initiative, led by Agir ensemble pour les droits humains, acting as lead partner, will be supported by four other members of the Human Rights Platform :

The Francophone Association of National Human Rights Commissions (AFCNDH)

The International Federation of ACAT (FIACAT)

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Tournons La Page (TLP)

As the international component of the “Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders” launched on 10 December 2021 by the President of the French Republic, it aims to improve France’s contribution – public authorities and civil society – to the protection of HRDs around the world.

This protection will be reinforced by risk prevention actions, whether they are risks linked to the intervention context of HRDs and their working environment and/or risks linked to internal weaknesses of HRD networks. Built as the first phase of a long-term action, this initiative will be implemented in ten countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico.

In these countries, it will support the translation on the ground of France’s commitments in favor of the protection of HRDs and the mobilization of French civil society organizations.

Specific objectives of the initiative :

Objective 1 aims at strengthening the action of French public actors and three priority target countries (Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Togo) for the protection of HRDs.

Objective 2 aims to strengthen the creation or structuring of HRD networks and to widen their fields of action on sensitive and/or less visible issues (minority rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, women’s rights, fight against gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights, corruption, environment, democratic change), and/or involving HRDs who are isolated because they are far away from the capital.

Objective 3 aims to promote the integration of the protection of HRDs in the projects implemented by the French associative actors of international solidarity and development as well as to support the operators of the national component of the Marianne Initiative in the preparation of the reception and return of HRDs who are laureates of this initiative.



The French Global Human Rights Defenders Initiative has a sub-grants component to finance small projects led by civil society organizations (CSOs) members of the Human Rights Platform or their local partners, which contribute to the objectives of the Initiative.

The projects presented in the framework of this call for proposals must fall within the scope of one of the following categories:

Category 1: Strengthening preventive measures for the protection of HRDs.

Target countries: Madagascar, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire.

Category 2: Implementing the French authorities’ strategy for supporting and protecting HRDs (embassies, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and French Development Agency services).

Target countries: Madagascar, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire.

Category 3: Supporting the growth of HDR’s networks (expand their action thematically or geographically)

Target countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Togo.

Category 4: Implementing mechanisms to protect the physical, psychological and digital security of HRDs.

Target countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Togo.

Category 5: Providing capacity building for the operators of the Marianne Initiative (national stream) and/or the laureates

Target country: France


All member organizations of the Human Rights Platform and their local partners in the target countries of the Initiative.

Special attention will be given to projects led by members of the Human Rights Platform not yet involved in the Initiative.



The Steering Committee of the initiative examines and selects projects according to the following eligibility criteria:

Eligibility criteria for organizations :

  • Be a non-profit organization member of the Human Rights Platform or a local partner of a Human Rights Platform member implementing field activities for the benefit of local actors or having its headquarters in one of the countries where the initiative is implemented;
  • Have been in existence for at least 1 year;
  • Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the project and not be limited to an intermediary role;
  • Have a control system in place to verify the eligibility of the costs of the funded project (justification of salaries with work contract and time sheets, invoices, proof of payment, accounting, signed receipts, …);
  • Networks or consortium of organizations are eligible.
  • Informal networks without an administrative and accounting structure are not eligible to apply, however an eligible CSO, which is a member of an informal network, may submit a project proposal with all or some of the members of a network presented as project partners in the proposal, specifying that they constitute an informal network. The main responsibility will lie with the applicant CSO.


Eligibility criteria for the project presented :

  • The project presented must contribute to strengthening the protection, effectiveness, visibility and impact of human rights defenders and civil society organizations in one of the 9 target countries of the Initiative (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mexico, Togo);
  • It must fall within one of the 5 intervention areas of the initiative (presented above);
  • The application can be for an entire project, ongoing or new. It can also be a specific component of a larger ongoing or new programme. Thus, the project may have started before the application is submitted, but the majority of the activities and expenditure presented in the application must be incurred as of the notification of the decision to support.
  • The activities of the project presented must take place before 30/04/2025.




Step 1: Preliminary steps

Applicants are invited to ensure that their application is eligible in relation to the selection criteria presented above.

The submission of grant applications is entirely online. Projects sent by post or e-mail will not be examined.

Step 2: Submission and review of grant applications

Applicants are invited to complete online the grant application form the current call for proposals (see call calendar below).

The grant application forms are then examined by the Steering Committee of the Initiative, which checks that the proposals are eligible and selects those that best meet the objectives and priorities of the Initiative.

Each applicant organization will receive notification of the Steering Committee’s decision by email.



The amount of the grant awarded will depend on the needs of the project. The range of grants awarded is between €1,500 and €8,000 per project.

Administrative costs are not eligible.



Any organization carrying out a project supported by the initiative undertakes to comply with the monitoring and evaluation procedure set up to monitor the progress of activities, check the use of funds and measure the results obtained from each of the projects supported.

Organizations carrying out supported projects undertake to send at least one activity report and one financial report in accordance with the form that will be sent. The activity report shall include, in particular, a statement of the indicators for monitoring and evaluating the project as defined in the application for support submitted. The initiative reserves the right to visit and/or have audited the supported projects.



Any organization carrying a project supported by the Initiative undertakes to include the Initiative’s logo and the logo of the Agence Française de Développement on all materials relating to the project supported, which will be provided for this purpose or, failing that, if the material is not suitable, the mention “with the support of the French Global Initiative for Human Rights Defenders and the Agence Française de Développement”. A copy of the various materials must be sent to the initiative when the activity report is submitted.

In addition, the organization undertakes to provide the Initiative with all documents (texts, photos, videos, music, etc.), free of rights, allowing the promotion of the project and the partnership in the internal and external communication materials of the Initiative or during events organized by it.



Applications are submitted online by following this link.

We recommend to download the blank application form in Word format to prepare your application before completing the online form.

The application form must be accompanied by the following supporting documents:

  • Legal proof(s) of registration of the organization;
  • Statutes of the organization (structure, governance, functioning,…) ;
  • Letter of recommendation from a Human Rights Platform member for any application submitted by a local partner;
  • Financial procedure manual of the organization or any document proving the existence of a control system in place to verify the eligibility of the costs of the funded project;
  • Chronogram of activities of the project proposal;
  • Detailed provisional budget.




An emergency procedure can be set up in order to respond to the needs of CSOs in certain political contexts.

The request to trigger the emergency procedure must be duly justified. Applicants are first invited to check the admissibility of their application with the initiative’s operational team at the following address:

For any questions or technical difficulties, please contact the initiative’s operational team at the following address:


September 2024

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