UNESCO is seeking applications for its Global Media Defence Fund to support the undertaking or upscaling of projects that bolster journalists’ legal protection and/or enhance media freedom by advancing.
The Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF) is a Multi-Partner Trust Fund established within the framework of the Global Campaign for Media Freedom and under the overall umbrella of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (“UN Plan of Action”). It was established in 2019 with major initial contributions from the United Kingdom and Canada and as a result of the identification of a need on the ground for a mechanism to reinforce the legal defense of journalists in need of legal protection, ensure judicial follow-up and hold perpetrators accountable for crimes against journalists (and the widespread impunity for these crimes), and foster environment where legal frameworks are conducive to a plural, free and independent media ecosystem.
- The GMDF operates through four key approaches or Outputs:
- Output 1: Fostering international legal cooperation, as well as the sharing and implementation of good practices to promote the defense of journalists under attack;
- Output 2: Reinforcing the operationalization of national protection mechanisms and peer support networks to ensure journalists’ rapid access to legal assistance, bolster their defense and enhance their safety, taking into account the gendered nature of the threats against them;
- Output 3: Supporting investigative journalism that contributes to reduced impunity for crimes against journalists by holding the justice system accountable and by pursuing investigative work that risks being censored when journalists are attacked; imprisoned, or murdered, and to 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 pluralistic media ecosystem.
- The 2022 Call for Partnerships of the Global Media Defence Fund will make nearly USD $1.4 million available in financial grants, ranging from a minimum USD $15,000 to a maximum of $35,000.
- Within the framework of the implementation of the GMDF, UNESCO seeks partnerships with specialized not-for-profit entities working at a grassroot, national, regional and/or global level to defend journalists and media freedom, including NGOs, media associations, journalists’ unions, human right defenders, lawyers’ associations and pro bono legal aid organizations, lawyers’ and investigative journalism networks, foundations, and academic institutions, among many others.
- Over its first two years of implementation, the GMDF has been supporting nearly 80 projects around the globe.
- The geographical coverage of the activities supported by the GMDF extends to all regions of the world, including UNESCO Global Priority Africa – in addition to the Arab States region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Within the framework of this Call for Partnerships, UNESCO seeks joint action with implementation partners.
- Implementation partners are entities with a not-for-profit status to which UNESCO entrusts partially or fully the implementation of programs or projects specified in a signed document (an Implementations Partners Agreement or IPA), along with the assumption of full responsibility and accountability for the effective use of resources and the delivery of outputs as set forth in such a document.
- The partner receives funding through UNESCO to deliver the program or project but must provide its own “added value” in terms of a monetary or in-kind contribution.
For more information, visit https://en.unesco.org/global-media-defence-fund