During a Special Session held in December 2021, the World Health Assembly (WHA) agreed upon the development of a ‘WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness” – the so-called ‘Pandemic Treaty’; to set binding rules for the international community to prevent, respond to and recover from future pandemics.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state responses to this crisis, have had a devastating impact on the fundamental rights of individuals and groups, and criminalised and marginalised communities were disproportionately affected not only by the virus, but also by securitised and ineffective control strategies. At the same time, strengthening human rights protections has proven, once again, to be a critical element of any effective health response. Nevertheless, human rights considerations appear to be marginal to the ‘Pandemic Treaty’ negotiations, with human rights seldom mentioned in the working draft, and mostly relegated to symbolic provisions.
Meanwhile, communities and civil society organisations are largely relegated to the margins of the negotiation process, which has, up to now, proven complex and opaque, with limited opportunities for meaningful engagement of non-state actors; and particularly inaccessible to community organisations and groups from the Global South. This violates the right of everyone to participate in public processes, and deprives negotiations of the essential input of affected communities and actors who played a critical role in the COVID-19 response.
In this context, Harm Reduction International is launching a call for proposals to support advocacy and campaigning initiatives by community groups, NGOs, and civil society organisations aiming at promoting meaningful engagement in the ‘Pandemic Treaty’ process (at either the local, regional, or international level); as well as mainstreaming human rights considerations in the negotiation process.
The total available budget per grant is USD 5,000, with three grants expected to be awarded. Supported initiatives can include (while not being limited to) institutional advocacy, online or offline campaigns, awareness raising, development or translation of resources, and organising initiatives. Applications from the Global South and by community organisations and networks of criminalised and marginalised groups (such as people who use drugs, sex workers, people in detention, LGBTQI+) will be given precedence. The timeframe for the proposed activities should be October – December 2022.
How to Apply:To apply, please fill up the application form available here in English, Spanish and French and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, together with a budget. Only proposals sent to this email address will be considered. Please use the subject line “[Pandemic treaty application – [Country] – [Name of organisation]”.
Deadline for applications: September 28, 2022.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews can be arranged before the deadline.
If you have questions about this call, please contact Giada Girelli, Senior Analyst, email@example.com. For further details please visit the link below: