Through Freedom House and Front Line Defenders, Lifeline provides small, short-term emergency grants to CSOs threatened because of their human rights work.


Lifeline grants can address security, medical expenses, legal representation, prison visits, trial monitoring, temporary relocation, equipment replacement, and other urgently needed expenses.

Lifeline has provided 1,516 emergency assistance grants to CSOs in 99 countries to date.


"Support from Lifeline allowed us to gain strong legal representation to defend our activists, and thankfully they were acquitted. Now, we can continue advocating for the rights of our community."

- Thai CSO Representative



Who is Eligible for Support?

Photo Credit: © Andriy Bublyk

Established CSOs with at least two or more activists that are threatened as a result of their human rights activities are eligible for assistance. CSOs need not be officially registered, but must be able to document a history of activism. Beyond traditional NGOs, this can include journalist associations, network organizations, community-based organizations, student groups, labor unions, think tanks, and other associations. The threat must have occurred within the last 3 months and the CSO must present means to independently verify details of the threat and the CSO's human rights credentials.


Types of Threats

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Types of Assistance

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What Constitutes an Emergency?

Photo Credit: © Roman Camacho

An emergency is an urgent need for assistance arising from threats to a CSO or its staff on the basis of the organization's human rights work. Factors considered include: need, urgency, and whether the CSO faces significant security risks, loss of property or equipment, injury or imprisonment of staff, and/or prosecution or other legal proceedings.


Applying for Emergency Assistance

Photo Credit: © Matthew Steben

Both Freedom House and Front Line Defenders provide emergency assistance to CSOs and their staff members. Each organization has its own criteria, and can be contacted for more information. Please note that Lifeline will not support duplicate requests.


To apply, contact [email protected] and let us know how we can contact you securely before sending sensitive information. To apply by PGP/GPG encrypted email (recommended), please use our public key.

Applications are available in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Russian, and Spanish.


To apply, please see more information on Front Line's security grants program. Applications can be submitted through Front Line's secure grants application form.

Applications can be completed in Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.