EU by far biggest funder of human rights defenders

February 28, 2022

The European Union (EU) provided roughly €10 billion to support non-government organisations (NGOs) in its partner countries over the past seven years (2014-2021) EU High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell said in a statement in celebration of World NGO day, 26 February.

Josep Borrell

File Photo: EU s High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell. Photo courtesy of European parliament website.

With these allocations, the EU represents the world’s largest provider of support to local NGOs in partner countries, Borrell noted. He also stated that it has been a leading donor for the protection and support of human rights defenders, with 53,000 defenders and their families taken care of through the website ProtectDefenders.eu since 2015. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2021/12/17/eu-launches-a-e1-5-billion-6-year-plan-to-promote-human-rights-and-its-defenders/

On World NGO Day, we honour all civil society actors who, every day, are at the forefront of the fight for human rights, the respect of democratic values and the rule of law. The EU commends their role in supporting and giving a voice to the most vulnerable as well as their essential contribution to building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies.

Today, with the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, international peace and the rule of law are under attack. The EU stands firmly by the Ukrainian and Russian people along with their civil society and youths, whose future and voices are threatened by President Putin’s disregard of democracy, human rights, and international rules,” Borrell stated.

Borrell added that countries that curtail NGOs’ activity through legal and administrative measures hamper universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. See e.g.: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/foreign-agents/

One Response to “EU by far biggest funder of human rights defenders”


  1. […] In 2021, the EU further expanded its concrete support to civil society organisations and human rights defenders, especially environmental, land and indigenous peoples’ rights defenders, women human rights defenders and labour rights defenders, who remained under severe pressure around the world. The 23rd EU-NGO Human Rights Forum organised on 7-8 December 2021 focused on ‘Rebuilding better: a human-rights based recovery from the pandemic’. The EU Human Rights Defenders Mechanism ProtectDefenders.eu (EUR 35 million for 2015-2022) has supported nearly 53,000 human rights defenders at risk and their families since its launch in 2015. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/02/28/eu-by-far-biggest-funder-of-human-rights-defenders/%5D […]


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