The Freedom Fund is pleased to announce an open call for the Tariff Act Legal Fund to provide funding to civil society groups to conduct on-the-ground investigations of forced labour in the production of goods, collect evidence of their import into the US and provide this information to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The goal of the investigation should be to collect primary evidence of forced labour, including worker interviews and testimony, within the target country. They do not expect applicant organisations to be able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge of the Tariff Act petition process.
The aim is to increase the number and diversity of groups that are providing evidence to CBP, in order to strengthen the role of civil society in utilising the Tariff Act mechanism to combat forced labour in global supply chains.
The Fund plays an important role in increasing the number and diversity of groups across the globe that are engaging with the Tariff Act as part of their work. By supporting civil society to submit petitions, they hope to raise the profile of the Tariff Act and build momentum around its use as a mechanism to combat forced labour in global supply chains.
- Interested parties may apply for a grant of up to $50,000 USD. Grant funds shall only be used for costs associated with the Tariff Act project.
- Grants will be provided to cover activities over a 12-month period. In exceptional circumstances, they may consider projects up to 18 months.
- Human rights organisations, civil society organisations, watchdog groups, trade unions, worker groups and investigative journalists are invited to submit proposals. They are particularly interested in receiving applications from organisations based in the Global South, or partnerships between international and local groups. Applicant organisations must be able to demonstrate:
- Presence in the target country, or a well-established relationship with civil society or worker groups based there
- Experience in carrying out human rights research and/or investigations
- Knowledge of issues relating to worker exploitation, including forced labour
- Risk management policies and procedures
- As the aim of the Fund is to build capacity within civil society to use the Tariff Act mechanism, priority will be given to organisations that have not previously submitted a petition to CBP.
For more information, visit https://freedomfund.org/blog/expanding-tariff-act-legal-fund/