European Union

Drapeau européen This project is funded by the European Union via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights

Committed to democracy and human rights within its borders, the European Union promotes human rights and defends those whose rights are violated around the world. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIHDR) is the direct expression of EU commitments and a key tool. It allows the EU to intervene directly and quickly. Its actions are not subject to prior approval by governments of the countries concerned.

Democracy and human rights are inextricably linked, information and communication are essential tools to promote them. Only in a democracy can individuals fully realise their human rights; only when human rights are respected can democracy flourish. Respect for human decency and democratic choice are drivers in the worldwide fight to reduce poverty, remove inequalities, attract investments and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Set up in its present form in 2007, the EIDHR has already supported more than 1 300 projects. It has committed about €580 million to support democratic processes and defend the human rights of people, with a focus on countries where they are most at risk. The EIDHR also funds projects to prevent torture and rehabilitate its victims, to end impunity from prosecution for the perpetrators of torture and violence and to defend the defenders of human rights themselves. It advocates the abolition of the death penalty by countries where it still applies. Besides its scheduled projects, the EIDHR carries out sensitive activities to support human rights defenders and activists in countries where these rights are most at risk. More than 10% of the EIDHR budget is spent on these operations which are kept confidential to protect those involved.

The EIDHR operates in the EU’s neighbours in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the African-Caribbean- Pacific (ACP) group of countries. At international level, it supports the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe and the International Criminal Court.

The EIDHR operates directly with grass-roots organisations, NGO’s, advocacy groups, trade unions and the media to promote pluralism, transparency and accountability in political life, to empower those with no political representation, and promote the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. Many are in countries where fundamental freedoms are under threat.

More on EIDHR and EU policy on human rights and democracy at:

City of Paris

Since 2001, Paris joins forces with human rights organisations and on its own initiative, puts together actions in support of the advance of liberties and the consolidation of basic rights. A policy based on values and in which the Parisians are involved.

Also, because Paris - together with other cities- personifies freedom, which a large number of people around the world are deprived of, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë has wished to reflect the solidarity of the Parisians by awarding the distinction of “Honorary Citizenship” to the women and men who fight in favour of freedom and democracy. With this award Paris highlights the special attention the City authorities pay to the denunciation of injustices and the progress of law.

By its commitment, Paris would like to recall its attachment to the right to information, the freedom of the press, and its quest to remain true to its values and vocation of asylum city. This is demonstrated by the creation in 2003 of “the House of Journalists”, in the 15th district. This place offers a 6 months temporary shelter and a working environment for journalists from around the world who had to flee their own country until they are officially recognised as refugees. For the second year, Paris is a partner of the Lucas Dolega Photographic Prize created in remembrance of the journalist Lucas Dolega who died in January 17th 2011 in Tunis while he was covering the events of the “Jasmine revolution” and, by honouring him, pays tribute to all the press photographers who risk their lives for the freedom of information.
Together with the actions that Paris takes with “Reporters Without Borders” in defence of the journalists jailed or threatened worldwide, it has wished to take an active part in creating the anti-censorship shelter, “WeFightCensorship”.