about us

Front Line - International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Organizational Mission:

Front Line is the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

Front Line was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk, people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Front Line aims to address the protection needs identified by defenders themselves.

Front Line seeks to provide rapid and practical support to at-risk human rights defenders, including through:

  • International Advocacy - on behalf of human rights defenders at immediate risk;
  • Security Grants -  to pay for the practical security needs of human rights defenders;
  • Training and Resource Materials - on security and protection, including digital security;
  • Rest and Respite - including the Front Line HRD Fellowship;
  • Opportunities for Networking and Exchange - between human rights defenders, including at the biennial Dublin Platform;
  • Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk;
  • 24 Hour Emergency Phone Support - for human rights defenders (Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russia)

Human Rights Program Mission

Front Line works to ensure that the principles and standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders are known, respected and adhered to on a worldwide basis.

The Declaration, which was adopted by consensus at the UN General Assembly, makes clear that all Governments have a duty to protect, promote and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms.  It states in article 1 that "'Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.'"

Grantmaking Information
Activities Supported:
Direct Services
New Media and Technology
Geographic Focus:
Caucasus and Central Asia
Latin America
Middle East and North Africa
North America
Western Europe
Central/Eastern Europe
Sub Saharan Africa
East Asia
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Areas of human rights funding:
Human Rights Defenders
Freedom of Association and Expression
Environmental Rights
Indigenous Peoples
Land Rights
Prisoners and Detainees
How to apply:

In 2009 Front Line provided $490,000 to 154 Human Rights Defenders at risk around the world.  Front Line Security Grants are given to organisations working for human rights as well as to individual human rights defenders at risk for the specific purpose of strengthening their protection.  The maximum award is  €6,000 ($8,300)

Please refer to the Front Line website for detailed application guidelines.

Front Line does not provide funding for:

  • Retrospective funding;
  • International organisations;
  • Organisations that have applied or are already receiving funding for the same purpose elsewhere;
  • Projects which focus on broader human rights issues rather than the specific situation of human rights defenders.
  • Costs for human rights defenders who are already in exile
  • Ongoing office running costs such as salaries and rent
  • Armed security guards
  • Purchase of vehicles

The Front Line HRD Fellowship Programprovides the opportunity for human rights defenders to take time out from their normal work to undertake a project which will further develop their capacities and contribute to the protection of human rights defenders internationally.

Human rights defenders who feel they need urgent assistance can contact Front Line via a secure and encrypted channel available on the organisation's website.

Organization Information
81 Main Street, Blackrock
+353 (0)1 212 3750
+353 (0)1 212 1001
Contact Information
Contact Name:
Mary Lawlor
Contact E-mail:
Contact Phone:
+353 1 212 3750
Contact Fax:
+353 1 212 1001

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2010