Human Rights Defenders Urgent Assistance Programme

FORUM-ASIA’s Human Rights Defenders Programme aims to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders, including defenders of the rights of women, in Asia. One main objective of FORUM-ASIA’s work is to provide urgent assistance and protection to human rights defenders at risk. According to a FORUM-ASIA staff member, many of these defenders are environmental human rights defenders advocating against extractive or other projects with environmental and human rights impacts.

In 2009, FORUM-ASIA developed a response framework for human rights defenders at risk. The response framework provides for relocation support for human rights defenders as well as other types of urgent assistance, such as medical assistance and legal aid. According to FORUM-ASIA’s web page, the relocation programme “is provided to defenders who are facing immediate and extreme threats to his/her life as a result of his/her work as a defender and there is a need for this defender to be relocated to a safer place. The defender applying for this grant should have exhausted all the remedies and protection measures available prior to the relocation. The protection plan can be designed to provide support for 3-6 months relocation within a member/partner organization of FORUM-ASIA.” In addition, FORUM-ASIA will allocate up to $2,000 of assistance per approved application.

Further Information

FORUM-ASIA’s website:, more information on its Human Rights Defenders Programme is available at: