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CBSS to Promote and Protect Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Pakistan)

Organisation: European Commission

Status: Closed

  • Grant

Funding Size: €650,000 to €850,000

Deadline: 22/05/2023

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
    – Be a legal person;
    – Be non-profit making;
    – Be a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) or association of CSOs;
    – Be established in Pakistan, a Member State of the European Union or in any other country;
    – Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s), not acting as an intermediary;
    – Local CSOs established in Pakistan will need to conform with government-approved NGO policy, by applying for an MoU covering the present grant; and
    – NGOs (established in any other eligible country than Pakistan) must have signed an MoU with the Ministry of Interior of Pakistan.
  • Type of funding: Programmatic
  • Target country: Pakistan
  • Application language: English

The European Commission is seeking proposals for the country–based support scheme (CBSS) to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Pakistan.

The aim of this call is to increase the resilience of journalists and media houses, increasing their capacity to react and adapt appropriately to the inevitable changes in their environment. It aims to contribute to the safety and protection of journalists and media workers, by working on an enabling environment for freedom of expression and by condemning attacks and other forms of harassment and intimidation both online and offline.

It will also aim at providing young journalists, operating in difficult conditions, access to professional development and learning opportunities, including in the field of digital technologies. By working together with media development organisations and civil society organisations, the EU aims to improve its outreach to women journalists, and journalists reporting about minority groups from remote areas.

The global objective of this call for proposals is to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Pakistan.

The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:

  • To strengthen the capacities of CSOs and independent media to exercise fundamental freedoms, to protect and support journalists, bloggers, and other media workers.
  • To strengthen civil society advocacy, public awareness, and inclusive debate on the centrality of Human Rights and Democracy in the regulation and use of new technologies.

The priorities of this call for proposals are:

  • Contribute to advocacy around reform, and monitoring of the implementation of media rules and regulations, safeguarding fundamental freedoms;
  • Strengthen the capacities of media actors for the promotion of freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism online, combatting hate speech, extremism, and disinformation.

Cross-cutting elements

Human Rights Rights-based approach (HRBA)

The European Consensus on Development commits the EU and its Member States to implementing a rights-based approach (RBA) to development, encompassing all Human Rights as well as EU’s commitment to promote and protect human rights and democracy as enshrined in the Joint Communication and EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024.

Actions must therefore incorporate the five working principles of the RBA approach: applying all human rights for all; meaningful and inclusive participation and access to decision-making; non-discrimination and equality; accountability and rule of law for all; transparency and access to information supported by disaggregated data.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment

Gender equality is an integral part of the HRBA, encompassing the promotion, protection and fulfillment of all human rights. Gender equality constitutes a fundamental human rights principle and a common value of the European Union (EU Treaties, EU Gender Action Plan “GAP III”). The design of the action should give particular attention to gender mainstreaming to ensure a reinforced role of women as actors of change. Each selected proposal will have to report against relevant sex-disaggregated indicators mentioned in the mandatory EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in External Action 2021-2025 (GAP III) and be gender-sensitive or gender-responsive.


The EU recognises youth as a key actor in development and an integral part of the solution to promote peace and security. Civil Society is best placed to promote youth engagement and involve and/or represent youth and youth interests in key policy processes. The proposed actions should support youth organisations’ capacities and participation in a gender-sensitive and responsive way, taking into account the different barriers and obstacles for male and female youth.


The exponential spread and scale-up of digital technologies and services have profound global implications, creating opportunities for sustainable development and inclusive growth, but at the same time bringing new threats and challenges.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in developing countries as powerful enablers of growth. Reference to ICT can be found explicitly as a target under SDG 9 “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”, while ICT is also referenced in the targets related to climate change (SDGs 13, 14 and 15), gender equality and women empowerment (SDG 5), private sector development (SDG 8), education (SDG 4) and health (SDG 3).

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