Applications Invited for Human Rights & Democracy Thematic Programme - India

Applications Invited for Human Rights & Democracy Thematic Programme - India

Organization: European Commission

Apply By: 10 May 2024

Grant Amount: 2670000 Euro

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About the Organization

The European Commission is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

Role: Promotes the general interest of the EU by proposing and enforcing legislation as well as by implementing policies and the EU budget.

About the Grant

The European Union (EU) is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Articles 2, 3 and 21 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) constitute the legal basis for the EU's human rights policy in external actions.

The Thematic programme on Human Rights and Democracy (the thematic programme) under the Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe Regulation (NDICI-Global Europe)  has the objective to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law worldwide. The thematic programme is built on the results achieved and best practices of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) established for the period 2014-2020 by Regulation (EU) No 235/2014, which built upon the EIDHR (2007-2013) and the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (2000-2006).

The EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for the period 2020-2024 , adopted by the Council in November 2020, and the Multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027 (MIP)  for the Thematic Programme, set the overarching priorities and objectives to be implemented at all levels: country, regional and multilateral.  The Action Plan contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), enhance the human rights of all, without discrimination on any grounds. Further, it emphasises the role of civil society organisations, and offers independence of action, which is a critical feature of cooperation with civil society organisations at national level.

The current Call for Proposals for India targets the following action: Prevent and eliminate child labour and forced labour in India, including through responsible business practices in European supply chains. It also takes into account the analyses and priorities set by the EU Human Rights and Democracy Country Strategy (HRDCS) for India 2021-2024  and the EU Gender Action Plan (GAPIII) country implementation plan (CLIP) for India (2021-2025) . The recent EU legislation on Human Rights & Environment Due Diligence (HREDD) in business supply chains  also makes it mandatory to ensure that the lowest tier of the supply chains in producer countries, in this case India, complies with necessary labour and human rights standards.

Objectives of the Programme and Priority Issues: -

The global objective of this call for proposals is to combat forced labour, child labour and unacceptable forms of work in all segments of the supply chain, in particular in the lower tiers, and to promote government and corporate accountability on business and human rights.

The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:

  • To promote responsible business practices and human rights due diligence in India, with particular emphasis on European supply chains.
  • To build capacities of relevant stakeholders, including CSOs, public and private sector actors in the effective implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business & Human Rights (BHR), related EU legislations on human rights and environmental due diligence, and related ILO Conventions and local legislations.
  • To support multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration at local, national and global levels to promote human rights due diligence in European supply chains.
  • To strengthen capacities of civil society actors, workers and their organisations in the protection of human rights including labour rights, in the enforcement of the necessary mitigation measures to fight it, and in the promotion of decent work and meaningful and efficient participation in social dialogue.
  • To facilitate access to remedies, including in cases of corporate human rights violations and abuses and engage in collective redress.

The priorities of this call for proposals are:

  • Giving a voice to, help provide access to remedies, and empower victims of corporate human rights violations, especially those living in the most vulnerable situations (women, youth, children at work, people living with disabilities and indigenous peoples).
  • Using a bottom-up approach and that are policy-driven. On the one hand, this requires activities that are conducted by CSOs with long-standing presence and involvement in impacted local settings to ensure effective stakeholder participation in broad human rights due diligence (HRDD) processes. On the other hand, this requires outreach activities to promote dialogue with and access to governmental actors and concerned corporate actors to inform the effective implementation of HRDD measures.
  • Tackling the informal economy and seeking to address and prevent abusive and fraudulent labour practices against vulnerable groups (migrant workers or workers from ethnic minorities, workers suffering disabilities, women workers, young workers and home-based workers).
  • Enabling workers, trade unions and workers’ associations to take part in an efficient and meaningful way in social dialogue with the government and the employers on issues linked to human and labour rights.
  • Strengthening legal frameworks and policies to better protect workers and prevent forced/child labour but also that encourage partnerships between workers' organisations, civil society groups, and companies to promote responsible business practices and reduce the risk of forced/child labour in supply chains.

•            Collecting and analysing data (disaggregated by sex, age, and disability) on the prevalence of forced/child labour and the effectiveness of interventions to combat it.


In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:

  • be a legal person  and
  • be non-profit-making; and
  • be a non-governmental civil society organisation (CSO)  and/or their associations and/or international platforms and  
  • be established in  any country and
  • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and
  • A lead applicant established outside India must act with minimum of two Indian co-applicants or affiliated entities.

Such Indian co-applicants or affiliated entities must be registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), and must have a valid FCRA registration at the time of full application and at the time of the signature of the contract.

  • A lead applicant established in India may act individually or with co-applicants or affiliated entities, subject to the following condition:

The Indian lead applicant must be registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), and must have a valid FCRA registration at the time of full application and at the time of the signature of the contract. This does not necessarily apply to co-applicants or affiliated entities.

Note that in the case of Indian lead applicants, there should be no direct transfer of EU funds to co-applicants and affiliate entities, in strict adherence to the FCRA rules. 

All specific eligible types of organisation mentioned in the bullet points above whether lead applicant, co-applicant(s), or affiliated entity(ies) must comply with their respective national legislation/s and with Indian legislation/s, as applicable to non-profit organisations (such as FCRA, Taxes, Social Security, FEMA/RBI), including registration and reporting requirements.

International organisations  are not eligible to apply, nor can act as co-applicant(s) under this call for proposals.

How to Apply

Deadline: 10/05/2024

Start Submission

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