Human rights - Ukraine

Human rights

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Promoting human rights and supporting Ukraine’s policy in this field is a priority for the Netherlands,  because democracies governed by the rule of law provide the most fertile soil for prosperity, stability  and development.

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General information

Human rights are a cornerstone of the Netherlands’ foreign policy. Human rights are rights that apply worldwide, to all people, in all places, at all times. They are the foundations of a democracy in which every person counts. The Netherlands strives to protect and promote human rights all over the world.
The Human Rights Fund (HRF) of the Netherlands therefore helps civil society organizations that work for the cause worldwide.  
Promoting human rights and supporting Ukraine’s policy in this field is a priority for the Netherlands,  because democracies governed by the rule of law provide the most fertile soil for prosperity, stability  and development.
Read more about the Netherland’s international human rights policy:  


The Embassy of the Netherlands invites Ukrainian NGOs to submit concept notes under the 2024 HRF Programme of the Embassy by 26 February 2024.

Applicant organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a registered Ukrainian NGO with non-for profit status according to the Ukrainian legislation (Universities, Communal Enterprises and Private Entrepreneurs or other business entities are NOT eligible to apply) and operate at governmentally controlled area of Ukraine
  • Have an adequate track record, proven management capacity, and expertise in the selected priority areas;
  • Have previous proven experience of implementing projects within the theme of proposed intervention.
  • Be in operation for at least 2 years.
Regional organizations or organizations implementing projects in the regions of Ukraine are encouraged to apply.

Priority areas of the Human Rights Fund

  • Freedom of expression, online and offline
  • Tackling impunity for the most serious crimes (focused on holding states and individuals accountable for serious and large-scale human rights violations and international crimes).
  • Human rights defenders and civic space
  • Equal rights for LGBTIQ+ persons
  • Equal rights for women and girls
  • Freedom of religion and belief

Considering the on-going Russian aggression against Ukraine and its impact on the most vulnerable groups, the Human Rights Fund in 2024 seeks to support creation of long lasting solutions that would improve the lives of people and communities affected by war, advocate for necessary policy changes, promote social cohesion and accountability while insuring the Human Rights of all people are protected.

Concept notes should meet the following criteria:

  • Focus on at least one of the above-mentioned priority area;
  • Lead to specific, measurable and meaningful results;
  • Not duplicate activities funded by other donors;
  • Be written in proper English. Google translations will not be accepted;
  • The requested contribution should range between UAH 5.000.000 and UAH 12.000.000; The projects that include sub-granting to NGOs in the regions or smaller communities may be supported if the applicant organization has past experience of coordinating re-granting mechanisms;
  • Minimum project duration: 12 months
  • Maximum project duration: 36 months;
Preference will be given to multi-annual projects with measurable results and clearly identifiable expected impact.

Submission details

The project proposal should be submitted in a standard concept note form, in MS Word format. Each question must be answered in strict accordance with the required maximum of words. The font size cannot be smaller than Verdana 9. Any concept note not meeting these basic technical requirements will be disqualified without appraisal.

Download the following documets:

Concept notes should be sent to:

Please write the subject of your e-mail in the following way: 2024 HRF Call / Organisation’s name.

Deadline for submissions of the filled in concept notes is 26 February 2024.

The project selection will take place by the end of March 2024.

The applicants of the shortlisted concept notes will be invited to submit a detailed project proposal for the consideration of the selection committee. All applicants will be informed of the results by e-mail.

It is expected that projects will start after June 1, 2024.


HUMAN RIGHTS FUND PRIORITY AREAS FOR 2024 (detailed description):

Freedom of expression online and offline, with a focus on:
- Preventing attacks on and obstacles to journalists and media workers
- Protection of journalists and media workers in crisis situations
- Accountability for attacks on journalists and media workers

Tackling impunity for the most serious crimes (‘accountability’), with a focus on:
- Reduced impunity for the most serious crimes, i.e. war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, notably through prosecution and convictions;
- Inclusive engagement with victims and survivor groups to help them achieve (criminal) justice for international crimes, either in national, regional or international justice procedures; i.e. a victim/survivor centered approach, ‘nothing about them without them’.

Human rights defenders and civic space, with a focus on:
- Preventing attacks on human rights defenders and removal of obstacles to human rights defenders’ work
- Protection of human rights defenders in crisis situations
- Accountability for attacks on human rights defenders

Equal rights for LGBTIQ+ people, with a focus on:
- Increase in social acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people
- Decrease in discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ+ people

Equal rights for women and girls, with a focus on:
- Equal rights for women and girls is also a cross-cutting theme and should preferably be integrated in all project proposals (in line with the Feminist Foreign Policy).
- Strengthening the role of women in conflict prevention and peace building, and protection in conflict situations
- Sexual and reproductive rights of all people are institutionally respected and protected
- Decrease in violence against women and girls in public and private life.

Freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), with a focus on:
- Strengthening the role of religion and faith based actors in achieving the SDGs
- Decrease in negative image of religions in conflict situations
- Decrease in persecution and discrimination of religious minorities