Building peace in the minds of men and women

Global Media Defence Fund

2021 Call for Partnerships

Until 15 June 2021, UNESCO received innovative proposals from specialized not-for-profit entities for the implementation of local, regional and international projects that, in line with international human rights standards, will contribute to enhancing media freedom and bolstering journalists’ legal protection by advancing at least one of the following GMDF Outputs: 

  • 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 they face;
  • 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 pluralistic media ecosystem.

The total indicative amount available for the co-financing of projects under this Call is estimated at USD $1,000,000, which will be distributed among the proposals with the highest evaluation score.

The 2021 Call for Partnerships is now closed.

 

 

About the Fund

 

All around the globe, journalists suffer countless attacks on their lives, their dignity and the integrity of their work. The ability of journalists to report the news and bring verified information to the public is being hampered by a wide range of attacks and violations, including threats, harassment, economic pressures, abusive judicial prosecutions (e.g. SLAPPs), arbitrary detentions, and a lack of access to specialized and gender-sensitive legal assistance.

The Global Media Defence Fund is a UNESCO 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, triggered by the initial donations of the United Kingdom and Canada.

Administered by UNESCO, the Fund is a responsive and effective mechanism to support not-for-profit organizations working on the ground at the local, regional, and international level in the undertaking or upscaling of projects that bolster journalists’ legal protection and/or enhance media freedom through investigative journalism or strategic litigation.

The Global Media Defence Fund 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 they face;
  • 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 pluralistic media ecosystem.

The Global Media Defence Fund was made possible thanks to the initial major donations of the United Kingdom and Canada, with their respective pledges of £3 million over five years and CAD $2 million for the two first years of the Fund’s implementation. The Fund has also received generous contributions from the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Serbia. 

The GMDF complements and synergizes with projects implemented under UNESCO’s regular program and other extra-budgetary modalities supporting the Organization’s work on safety of journalists and the issue of impunity – including UNESCO’s initiative to support the role of security forces and the judiciary in protecting and ensuring an environment conducive to freedom of expression, as well as the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

 

How?

The GMDF supports and seeks joint action between UNESCO and specialized not-for-profit entities, including specialized NGOs, media associations, journalists’ unions, human right defenders, lawyers’ associations and pro bono legal aid organizations, investigative journalism networks, foundations, and academic institutions, among other relevant stakeholders.

 

Where:

The Global Media Defence Fund is currently supporting the implementation of over 40 projects around the globe.

Global Media Defence Fund: Partners in Action

When:

The Fund is set to be implemented over 5 years (2019-2024), with annual or biannual competitive calls for partnerships open to relevant stakeholders willing to undertake or upscale local, regional, and/or global initiatives that contribute to advancing Output 2, Output 3 and/or Output 4 of the Fund.

The Second Call for Partnerships will remain open until 15 June 2021 at 23:59 (CET).

Donor partners:

The following countries have pledged a contribution to the Global Media Defence Fund:

  • The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom (£3,000,000 - for 5 years – 2019/2024)
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada (CAD $2,000,000 for the Fund’s first two years – 2019/2021)
  • The Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany (EUR 100,000 in November 2020 and EUR 200,000 in April 2021)
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus (EUR 10,000 in December 2020)
  • The Government of the Czech Republic (USD $12,952.25 in December 2019 and USD $13,302 in December 2020)
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia (EUR 20,000 in December 2020)
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia (EUR 10,000 in December 2019)
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (EUR 10,000 in February 2020 and EUR 10,000 in February 2021)
  • The Government of the Republic of Serbia (EUR 30,000 in November 2020)
  • The Government of Japan (USD 100,000 in May 2021)
  • The Ministry of Foreing Affairs of the Slovak Republic (EUR 10,000 in August 2021)

Resources

Promotional Materials

Other Relevant Resources

  • Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Online Courses: available here.

Video Features