The Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders aims to better assist them in their struggle, both abroad and in France.
The initiative was launched in December 2021 and provides support to human rights defenders. This support includes reception (and accommodation if necessary), the payment of a monthly grant for living in Paris, personalised support and networking with human rights defenders during a period of 6 months.
This Initiative might be for you if you are committed to the promotion and defence of human rights in your country:
- You are a human rights defender in the sense recognised by the United Nations (https://www.ohchr.org/fr/special-procedures/sr-human-rights-defenders/about-human-rights-defenders), adult and of non-French nationality, regardless of your place of residence;
- You can provide document(s)/evidence, produced by others (recommendations, press articles, etc.), attesting to your commitment/action in favour of human rights;
- You can justify that participation in the Marianne Initiative’s French aid programme will strengthen your capacity for human rights action in your country and internationally, and that it will enable you to create or develop existing or planned links or projects with French organisations;
- You have a valid passport (with a validity of at least six months) or you are willing to follow the procedures to obtain one;
- You are not subject to any legal ban on leaving the territory;
- You are willing to travel to France from January 2023 to June 2023.
After submitting your application, an independent selection committee will select around ten laureates at the end of September / beginning of October 2022.
From January to June 2023, the selected men and women will benefit from the financing of their arrival in France (travel costs), accommodation if necessary for those coming from abroad, the payment of a monthly grant (conditional on active participation in the programme), support in daily life and support in their militant project including:
a) Group activities:
- Project development: training in public speaking, communication, fundraising and project management; language courses ; access to certain courses at Sciences Po Paris as an auditor; networking with actors in France involved in the promotion of human rights, as well as with former winners of the programme;
- Meetings/interviews: institutional visits, meetings and interventions of high-level personalities.
Cultural (visits, trips to France, etc.) and sports activities may also be offered.
b) Individual activities based on prior identification of needs:
- Connection with a mentor throughout the programme;
- Individualised meetings according to the cause and the needs expressed.
Psychological support will be offered if necessary.
Personal activities include implementing the project or taking courses at Sciences Po.
Examples of activities for the year of 2022:
- Training in cyber security, advocacy, public speaking, project management and negotiation;
- Courses at Sciences Po: “Is a gender equal society possible?”, “How to Conquer, Govern and Leave Power: Methods and Practices of Political Communication”;
- Interviews with French senators from the friendship groups of the countries of origin;
- Interviews with the media (e.g. Le Grand Continent or Revue Esprit) for the publication of articles;
- Meetings with NGOs active in the field of human rights and experts related to the topics addressed by the laureates;
- Trip to Lyon with a French association for the defence of human rights and to Strasbourg for the Council of Europe.
You can apply to be part of the 2023 class of the Marianne initiative by contacting the French Embassy (section “Contact Us” of this website, addressed to Governance and Human Rights).
A contact email will be provided upon request.
Find the application form here: Marianne Initiative Application Form
Your application must include the documents listed in the application form. It can be written in French or English.
The deadline for the application is 14 September 2022.