Call for Partnerships: UNESCO’s Global Media Defence Fund

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Application Deadline: July 1, 2022

UNESCO will be seeking partnerships with specialized not-for-profit organizations to support the undertaking or upscaling of projects that bolster journalists’ legal protection and/or enhance media freedom by advancing at least one of the following Outputs:

  • Output 2: Reinforcing the operationalization of national protection mechanisms and peer support networks to ensure journalists’ rapid access to legal assistance, bolster their defense and enhance their safety, taking into account the gendered nature of the threats against them;
  • Output 3: Supporting investigative journalism that contributes to reduced impunity for crimes against journalists by holding the justice system accountable and by pursuing investigative work that risks being censored when journalists are attacked; imprisoned, or murdered; and to enhancing the safety of those conducting this line of work;
  • Output 4: Enhancing structures for fostering strategic litigation in order to protect environments where the legal frameworks are conducive to an independent, free, and pluralistic media ecosystem.

The 2022 Call for Partnerships of the Global Media Defence Fund will make nearly USD $1.4 million available in financial grants, ranging from a minimum USD $15,000 to a maximum $35,000.

The Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF) is a Multi-Partner Trust Fund established within the framework of the Global Campaign for Media Freedom and under the overall umbrella of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (“UN Plan of Action”). It was established in 2019 with major initial contributions from the United Kingdom and Canada, and as a result of the identification of a need on the ground for a mechanism to reinforce the legal defense of journalists in need of legal protection, ensure judicial follow-up and hold perpetrators accountable for crimes against journalists (and the widespread impunity for these crimes), and foster environment where legal frameworks are conducive to a plural, free and independent media ecosystem.


  • Within the framework of the implementation of the GMDF, UNESCO seeks partnerships with specialized not-for-profit entities working at a grassroot, national, regional and/or global level to defend journalists and media freedom, including NGOs, media associations, journalists’ unions, human right defenders, lawyers’ associations and pro bono legal aid organizations, lawyers’ and investigative journalism networks, foundations, and academic institutions, among many others.


Over its first two years of implementation, the GMDF has been supporting nearly 80 projects around the globe. The geographical coverage of the activities supported by the GMDF extends to all regions of the world, including UNESCO Global Priority Africa – in addition to the Arab States region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNESCO’s Global Media Defence Fund

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