Emergency Assistance Programs

Emergency Assistance to Frontline Activists

Uzbekistan’s government in December 2014 began to threaten freelance journalist Gulasa Kamolova with arrest for her critical writing. Freedom House assistance allowed her to safely relocate out of the country and launch a new blog, The Daughter of Bukhara. Around the world, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists and organizations, religious freedom advocates, and LGBTI activists frequently come under threat because they stand up for their fellow citizens.

Since 2007, Freedom House has provided emergency assistance to more than 3,500 human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and survivors of religious persecution in 110 countries and territories.  This assistance reaches frontline activists at their moment of greatest need. It has helped them survive attacks, given them the means to resume their critical work, and in many cases literally saved lives.

Freedom House meets the specific needs of each individual or organization. For example, we fund the legal defense and support the families of land rights activists arrested on spurious charges; help political prisoners suffering illness or injury to get medical treatment; assist anti-corruption groups in replacing confiscated computers and installing security cameras after their offices are raided; and help youth activists relocate to safety when their lives are threatened.

Religious minorities are often targeted for expressing their beliefs. Freedom House has supported survivors of religious persecution and defenders of religious freedom from many different faiths.  We have provided emergency assistance to a moderate Muslim in Nigeria targeted by Boko Haram, a Shia Muslim in Pakistan charged with blasphemy, an atheist in Indonesia imprisoned for defamation, a Sunni Muslim charged with extremism in Uzbekistan, and a Christian pastor in Burma targeted by extremists.

New requests for emergency assistance come in every day.  Freedom House stands ready to help.

To inquire about submitting an application for assistance, please contact [email protected].

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society.

Lifeline supports a variety of CSOs that conduct advocacy, promote and protect human rights, and/or act in a watchdog capacity, including human rights organizations, journalist associations, student groups, labor unions, think tanks, and others. Lifeline is a consortium of seven international partners and receives contributions through an international donor pool of 17 governments and independent foundations that support democracy and human rights.

Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program

The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.

Dignity for All also supports targeted, time-bound advocacy campaigns to respond to threats or attacks on LGBTI human rights and human rights work, as well as assistance for individual victims or communities connected to funded advocacy campaigns. Security training is available to proactively assist organizations to continue their work more safely.