The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) from organizations interested in submitting Statements of Interest (SOI) outlining project concepts and capacity to manage projects that will support the bureau’s policy priorities of fostering democracy and human rights in China.
DRL invites organizations to submit statements of interest outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage projects that will advance DRL policy priorities in the following areas:
- Rule of Law ($500,000 to $1,500,000 per proposal): Encourage legal reform, support implementation of existing laws consistent with international human rights norms and/or laws that address issues of concern to citizens; support input into new draft laws or draft revised laws under review, especially on issues of broad concern (e.g. Domestic Violence Law, Food Safety Law); support measures to help China implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly with regard to inclusive education and employment issues; promote public interest law and the legal profession; establish better support systems for public interest and criminal defense lawyers; support pro-bono attorneys, legal aid, and/or targeted legal defense micro-grants; provide lawyers and legal activists with the resources to hold authorities accountable for the implementation of new laws, such as the amended Criminal Procedure Law and the Environmental Protection Law; improve legal rights awareness and access to justice for Chinese citizens, particularly underserved and vulnerable populations.
- Civil Society ($500,000 to $1,500,000 per proposal): Build the capacity of non-governmental actors or entities to improve organizational, fundraising, collaboration, and/or advocacy skills; provide micro- or small grants to support grassroots civil society organizations and activists engaging in innovative advocacy campaigns; enhance cross-sector collaboration and support the development of domestic funding systems for NGOs; professionalize the charitable sector to align with international best practices; reform or establish underlying systems and institutions in the nonprofit sector that support civil society development; promote the human rights of LGBT people, persons with disabilities, rural citizens who have lost their land, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized groups.
- Religious Freedom ($500,000 to $1,500,000 per proposal): Engage relevant stakeholders to encourage legal and policy reform expanding religious freedom, including investments in key academics connected to policymakers to better understand the positive role of religion; promote advocacy for the rights of religious minorities and unofficial religious groups, including minority women and female members of religious groups; bolster the ability of lawyers to take on religious freedom cases; support inter-faith collaboration in promoting religious freedom, including efforts to foster dialogue among multiple stakeholders on religious pluralism; and encourage space for religious organizations to provide social services and conduct advocacy as a means of demonstrating the value of religious pluralism in protection of social harmony, such as pilot projects that showcase the positive contributions of religious organizations to social service provision.
- Labor Rights ($500,000 to $1,500,000 per proposal): Strengthen the ability of workers and workers’ organizations to advocate for improved working conditions, respect for fundamental labor rights, and election of worker representatives at the factory level, including by providing legal aid and labor rights trainings for workers and worker activists; improve access to justice for migrant workers, with particular emphasis on supporting grassroots migrant worker activists and labor organizations; promote implementation and enforcement of worker-friendly provisions of existing labor laws, including through reform-centered legal advocacy and outreach; promote representative, interests-based bargaining at the enterprise or industrial sector level, through for example, trainings on collective bargaining and other collective agreement and dispute resolution processes; encourage existing unions to improve representation of workers’ interests, in particular by increasing the role and voice of women, youth and other under-represented workers’ groups in leadership roles within the union; broaden the space for workplace democracy, including by taking advantage of provincial and sub-provincial government regulations and policies with regard to 1) the free election of trade union leaders at the enterprise level, and/or 2) participation by elected worker representatives in enterprise-level collective bargaining.
- Public Participation, Freedom of Information, and Freedom of Expression ($500,000 to $1,500,000 per proposal): Improve the quality and scope of citizen input into government decision-making; develop online and/or other platforms to enhance accountability and public participation in government decision-making at local levels; promote government information transparency and accountability on a range of issues of importance to wide sectors of Chinese society, including through implementation and use of the Open Government Information Regulations; strengthen and institutionalize public participation methods; encourage freedom of information; develop and implement best practices for ethical and financial standards in support of transparency and accountability; support press freedom and the professionalization of journalists, including use of advanced journalism tools; promote freedom of expression and information, including through new media platforms and other creative and/or innovative tools.
Approximately $10,000,000 in HRDF funds from the FY 2015 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act will be available for China programs. To support direct and indirect costs required for implementation, the Bureau anticipates making awards in amounts of $500,000 to $1,500,000 for one to three year programs for human rights, rule of law, labor rights, religious freedom, civil society, and other programs in the priority areas listed above.
Full details here.