Dignity for All: LGBT Assistance Program
Why is security of human rights defenders an issue?
We have witnessed various negative developments for the LGBTI community in different European countries in recent years. These issues have included the adoption of so-called “anti-propaganda laws”, promotion of anti-equal marriage agenda and direct attacks on the LGBTI Pride events’ organisers as part of a general crackdown on human rights activists. This not only makes the practical work of the LGBTI human rights activists more difficult, it also puts their work, and even lives, under an imminent threat.
International human rights organisations, LGBTI groups and several governments have joined efforts to effectively respond to these negative developments. Together, they aim to mitigate the negative consequences of anti-LGBTI initiatives, and to support and protect human rights activists in affected countries. Dignity for All: LGBT Assistance Program is one of the initiatives that are being actively implemented by ILGA-Europe since 2012.
What does Dignity for All do?
Put simply, the programme provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organisations under threat or attack due to their work for human rights and equality for LGBTI people. Dignity for All helps targeted, time-bound advocacy campaigns respond to threats or attacks targeting LGBTI people and organisations. It can also provide assistance for individual victims or communities connected to funded advocacy campaigns. Security training is available to ensure organisations can continue their work in safety.
In recent years, ILGA-Europe supported various initiatives requiring emergency intervention; such as preparations for the Pride event in Kiev (2014), providing assistance and support to Georgian activists (2014)in the aftermath of the attack during the IDAHO event in 2013 and providing reactive support to Russian activists following the introduction of restrictive legislation.
ILGA-Europe coordinates Dignity for All support for activists and organisations in the European region since 2012 and works in a consortium with 6 other international human rights organisations:
- Freedom House
- Akahatá: Equipo de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros
- Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality
- Heartland Alliance
- International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
- the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI)
What methods are used?
Dignity for All utilises three different methods – emergency funds, advocacy support and security training.
Dignity for All provides human rights defenders and civil society organisations with small, short-term emergency grants, to cover things like medical expenses, legal representation, prison visits, trial monitoring, temporary relocation, dependent support, security, equipment replacement and other types of urgent expenses. By definition, emergency assistance is finite and is given to address a time-sensitive threat. An emergency might require more than one type of assistance (i.e. medical and legal, or prison visits and equipment replacement) and Dignity for All can help with other relevant requests too.
How can you submit an application for emergency support?
Applications can be directly submitted by an organisation or individual human rights activist. Applications can also be made by a third party on behalf of a human rights defender HRD or civil society organisation. Requests for assistance should include as much detailed information as possible on why emergency aid is needed.
We review all applications to determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria (described above) and whether the requested funds are justified. The review process independently verifies the information provided by the applicant.
Dignity for All provides support to civil society organisations for small, short-term advocacy initiatives to counteract urgent threats or to take advantage of time-bound advocacy opportunities. For example, such threats could include proposed or recently passed legislation, sudden government crackdowns or increased levels of violence.
Any applications for support should provide specific information on the issue the planned activity will address its location, timeframe, and a detailed budget. Unfortunately, Dignity for All cannot provide long-term programmatic support. Contact ILGA-Europe for more information about the process.
Through Dignity for All, ILGA-Europe provides preventive security workshops and training to help LGBTI civil society organisations and human rights defenders develop security plans. This proactive support is meant to enhance the security of LGBTI activists and organisations and to help prevent future threats and attacks from disrupting LGBTI human rights work.
Who is eligible?
Human rights defenders or civil society organisations are eligible for support if they have come under attack because of their LGBTI human rights work.
A human rights defender is an individual who peacefully works to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
A civil society organisation is defined as an established group of two or more activists working together on human rights. A civil society organisation does not need to be officially registered to be considered for support by Dignity for All, but must be able to document at least six months of activism.
What is the source of funding?
Dignity for All is supported by Global Equality Fund, which receives contributions through an international donor pool of several governments and independent foundations that support human rights for LGBTI people.
If required due to security reasons, ILGA-Europe will not publish nor disclose any details about the initiatives supported under the programme.
The application form for emergency advocacy can be downloaded here. For advocacy support, please contact ILGA-Europe.
For emergency support:
Freedom House or ILGA-Europe (see below):
For Advocacy support: