The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office for South-East Asia invites applications to strengthen engagement of human rights defenders and civil society organisations (CSOs) with the International Human Rights Mechanisms and improve responsiveness to human rights concerns by State actors, the UN System and the international community, in line with international norms and standards.
The Regional Office for South-East Asia of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (herein after “SEARO”) was established in Bangkok in 2002. SEARO acts as an expert resource and plays a catalytic and convening role, helping to bring human rights standards and mechanisms into discussions on political, social, economic and developmental issues amongst governmental and non-governmental actors in Thailand and the region. Advocacy on human rights issues of concern combined with technical support and capacity building to key partners form the basis of SEARO’s work, including with government authorities, ASEAN, national human rights institutions, civil society and the UN system. The Regional Office aims to integrate gender into all areas of its work.
Another critical aspect of SEARO’s work has been the continuous engagement with CSOs on a wide range of issues, including supporting CSOs and HRDs in strengthening their capacity to monitor and document human rights violations, further expand collaborative relations with the local CSOs working directly at community level, focusing on marginalised groups, including indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and youth.
Objectives of the Call for Proposals
- Monitor and document human rights violations and abuses at local level, focusing on land rights, business and human rights, the right to a safe, clean and healthy environment, the rights of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, public participation, women’s rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities, among others.
- Engage and advocate with provincial and local authorities for the protection and promotion of human rights at community level.
- Engage with national (e.g., National Human Rights Commission of Thailand) and international human rights protection mechanisms (e.g., Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, UPR), particularly through partnerships and collaboration with national CSOs (based in Bangkok).
- The overall amount made available for this call for proposals is USD 80,000 which will be awarded to a maximum of two local CSOs.
- For individual CSO applying for the grant should not exceed US$ 40,000.
- Applications submitted jointly by two or more CSOs must clearly indicate which CSO will be the lead applicant who will sign the grant agreement with OHCHR and be accountable for the delivery of the project results.
- The grants made available through this call for proposals must cover 100% of costs of the proposed project.
- Expenses and payments agreed on the project budget will be paid in accordance with the specific schedule agreed on in the award contract.
- All allocated funds should be used as specified in the agreed budget. The selected CSO will be required to keep original supporting documentation for any payments incurred under the grants made available through this call (for 5 years after the end of the grant).
- Quarterly financial and narrative reports in USD will be required based on templates which will be available to the partner CSO upon signature of the grants agreement. The final financial report must be submitted to OHCHR no later than 60 days after the implementation/termination of the agreement.
- SEARO reserves the right to monitor the projects’ activities and evaluate projects’ progress at any time, including verification of expenditures, in order to ensure full and effective delivery of project objectives.
- The implementation of funded projects must start by the first day of the month following the date of the signed grant agreement recommended by the OHCHR Grants Committee and approved by the High Commissioner and should be completed within 12 months, and not later than 31 December 2024.
- Expenses should be incurred only within in the duration of the signed agreement. Expenses incurred prior or after the termination of the agreement are not acceptable and considered an ineligible cost.
Project Eligibility and Design Criteria
- Proposals submitted by CSOs are expected to cover activities based on their expertise, including in the field of human rights and gender mainstreaming.
- Proposed projects should preferably be part of a longer-term, continuous effort beyond the specific activities funded by the present grants.
- Project activities must take place in Thailand. While the call for proposals does not discriminate proposals on a geographical basis, a balance among awarded beneficiaries is desirable in order to cover different regions within Thailand.
- The maximum duration for the implementation of the projects will be one year commencing after the signature of agreement with OHCHR, or until 31 October 2024.
- The following types of activity will not be covered:
- Individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses out of Thailand. However, this does not prevent the implementing partner to use funds to pay speakers and participants per diems to cover food and transport in workshops and seminars that it organizes.
- Capital expenditure, e.g., land, buildings, equipment and vehicles.
- Individual scholarships for studies or training courses.
- Supporting political parties.
Eligibility Criteria for CSOs
- A non-governmental organisation, with no profit motive, working at local level for monitoring and protection of human rights.
- Directly responsible for the implementation and management of the project, not acting as intermediary.
For more information, visit United Nations Human Rights.