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.

Since 2011, Lifeline has provided 1,316 emergency assistance grants to CSOs in 101 countries.


"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, April 2018



Who is Eligible for Support?

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. To qualify for assistance, a CSO must demonstrate that a threat occurred in the past 3 months and provide means to independently verify details of the threat and confirm that the threat is directly related to their human rights work.

Photo Credit: © Andriy Bublyk

Roman Camacho Venezuela.jpg

What Constitutes an Emergency?

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. Lifeline does not provide funds for general operating expenses or expenses due to financial hardship.

Photo Credit: © Roman Camacho


Applying for Emergency Assistance

Both Freedom House and Front Line Defenders provide emergency assistance to CSOs and their staff members. Please note that Lifeline will not support duplicate requests.

Emergency assistance grants can provide funding for medical expenses, temporary relocation, psycho-social support, enhancing office or home security, prison visits, legal assistance, equipment replacement, dependent support, and trial monitoring.

Photo Credit: © Roman Camacho


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.