UNESCO Launches the first Call for the Global Media Defence Fund

UNESCO seeks partners in promoting media freedom, to be supported under the Global Media Defence Fund, established thanks to the initiative of the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada, within the framework of their Global Campaign for Media Freedom. Under this first call for partnerships, half million USD will be distributed in small grants to relevant not-for-profit organizations.

Until Sunday 10 May 2020, UNESCO will be accepting proposals for innovative projects that will enhance journalists’ legal protection and their access to legal assistance, as well support investigative journalism contributing to tackling impunity, at the local, regional and/or international level by advancing at least one of the following Global Media Defence Fund’s Outputs:

Output 2: Reinforcing the operationalization of national protection mechanisms and peer support networks, including by supporting governments and other institutions to develop national frameworks, action plans and legislation relevant to the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, to ensure journalists’ rapid access to legal assistance, bolster their defense and enhance their safety;
Output 3: Supporting investigative journalism that contributes to reduced impunity for crimes against journalists, and enhancing the safety of those conducting this line of work;
Output 4: Enhancing structures for fostering strategic litigation in order to protect environments where the legal frameworks are conducive to an independent, free and plural media ecosystem.
Under this first Call for Partnerships, for total amount of USD $500,000 (five hundred thousand US dollars), the Global Media Defence Fund will consider applications for funding from relevant not-for-profit stakeholders, including civil society organizations, media associations, human rights organizations, rule of law initiatives, investigative journalism networks and academic institutions.

Grants requested under this Call for Partnerships must fall between a minimum USD $15,000 (fifteen thousand US dollars) and up to USD $60,000 (sixty thousand US dollars).

You may download the Call for Partnerships and the application package here.

In order to apply, please submit your partnership proposal and supporting documents to gmdf@unesco.org (link sends e-mail), no later than Sunday 10 May 2020 at 23:59 (CET). No proposals and/or supporting document will be accepted after this time.

Applications must be submitted in English or in French.

The Global Media Defence Fund is a UNESCO’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund with the goal of enhancing media protection and improving the access of journalists to specialized legal assistance. Its particular niches are supporting legal defense based on international standards on media freedom, as well as investigative journalism contributing to tackle impunity for crimes against journalists. The implementation approach consists in seeking applications for funding from external relevant non-profit organizations.

The Global Media Defence Fund was made possible thanks to the initial major donations by the United Kingdom and Canada and their respective pledges of £3 million (USD $3,7 million) over five years and of 1 million Canadian Dollars (USD $750,000) to the Fund. Additional donations have been received by the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Luxemburg. This Fund synergizes with other activities implemented by UNESCO in the field of freedom of expression, and its action contributes to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

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