Emergency Assistance and Thematic Programs
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.
Emergency Assistance to Frontline Activists
Since 2007, Freedom House has been providing short-term support to human rights defenders, civil society organizations and survivors of severe religious persecution in some of the world’s most repressive and conflict-ridden environments. This assistance reaches frontline activists and civil society organizations 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.
We have provided assistance to over 4,000 individuals and organizations in over 110 countries and territories. We also provide urgent advocacy and resiliency grants, and preventive security training to ensure that civil society organizations are able to continue working even in hostile and unpredictable environments.
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 LGBTI human rights groups to replace confiscated computers and install security cameras after their offices are raided; and help youth activists relocate to safety when their lives are threatened.
Freedom House has also supported survivors of religious persecution and defenders of religious freedom from many different faiths or because of persecution based on lack of belief. 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.
Two of our key emergency assistance funds include:
- The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations under threat or attack and rapid response advocacy and resiliency grants to support CSOs in responding to broader threats against civic space. Lifeline is a consortium of seven international NGOs and receives contributions from a Donor Steering Committee of 19 governments that support democracy and human rights.
- The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program: In order to increase safety and security for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, Dignity provides emergency funds to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack for their work; short-term urgent rapid response grants to support LGBTI organizations working in unpredictable environments counteract imminent threats and respond to opportunities to advance the rights of LGBTI people; and security trainings to proactively build knowledge and skills to help keep human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and communities safer from threats.
To inquire about submitting an application for assistance, please contact [email protected].
New requests for emergency assistance come in every day. Freedom House stands ready to help.
Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund
The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society.
Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program
The Dignity for All program provides emergency funds, support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and organizations under threat or attack due to their work for LGBTI human rights.
Human Rights Support Mechanism
Implemented by the PROGRESS consortium of core partner organizations, the Human Rights Support Mechanism deploys programs that promote universally recognized human rights. Under the direction of USAID’s Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Strategy, HRSM focuses it's work on a few core areas:
- Promote and protect human rights
- Mitigate effects of rights abuses, and provide remedies to victims
- Respond rapidly to urgent crises
Explore Regional Programs
Through a robust portfolio of projects on the ground, emergency assistance, international advocacy, and special research Freedom House supports citizens and civic groups across the Eurasia region to actively participate in reforms, seek accountability for injustice, and implement meaningful ways to engage citizens as allies and supporters.
Latin America and the Carribean Programs
Freedom House helps citizens defend their rights against government abuses in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Sub-Saharan Africa Programs
Freedom House partners with civil society and human rights defenders throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to advance respect for human rights, strengthen democratic governance, and fortify just rule of law.