Resilience Fellowship 2023

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) is pleased to announce the fourth edition of the Resilience Fellowship, which for 2023 will have human rights as its theme. The Fellowship builds a platform for cross-sectoral, global and interdisciplinary collaboration between civil society actors, human rights activists, journalists, artists, scholars, policymakers, grassroots community leaders and others working to counter the effects of organized crime. Deadline: 15 November 2022.

Resilience Fellowship

The Fellowship is part of the GI-TOC's flagship Resilience Fund, which provides grants and support to civil society individuals and organizations working to counter the impacts of criminal governance and violence across the world. Established with a grant from the government of Norway, the Resilience Fund is also supported by the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand and works in partnership with international organizations and NGOs worldwide.

The first edition of the Fellowship in 2020 provided support and networking opportunities to a cohort of 10 individuals from around the world on the chosen theme of disappearances related to organized crime. In 2021, the chosen theme was extortion. The Fellows in this cohort worked against different practices of extortion carried out in vastly diverse contexts and cultures, identifying the numerous dynamics and expressions of this criminal method. The ongoing Fellowship in 2022 has environmental crime as its theme, focusing on areas like illegal logging, IUUF, and environmental affectation to indigenous protected areas.

The Resilience Fellowship is based on a three-pronged approach:

Sponsorship: Providing financial support so that Fellows will have the time and resources to carry out their individual work and a collaborative project. Grants of US$15 000 per Fellow will be awarded for one year.

Networking: Offering mentorship opportunities with experts from the GI-TOC, as well as bringing Fellows together to begin a collaborative project to be undertaken during their Fellowship year.

Dissemination: Creating opportunities for Fellows to publicly share their work and ideas – through platforms such as conferences, civil society forums and national and international platforms, which will expand public discourse, deepen engagement with society, and invite the support and participation from the general public and, ultimately, policymakers.

Theme for 2023: Human Rights and Organized Crime

In 2023, the Resilience Fellowship theme will focus on human rights and organized crime. Fellows will use their diverse perspectives to collaborate on a range of outputs based around this theme. As Resilience Fund Ambassadors, Fellows will also raise awareness on how organized crime contributes to human rights violations and advocate for better responses to these violations.

Human rights around the world are under threat due to the presence of organized crime and criminal governance. In parallel to human rights violations at the hands of state actors, due to the violence and intimidation associated with it, organized crime is increasingly threatening the safety and security of citizens, and furthering the perpetration of human rights violations.

Either when acting alone or in collaboration with corrupt state actors, organized criminal groups constantly use violence and intimidation to fulfil their interests, violating the right to life, liberty, security of person, property, freedom of movement, and freedom of speech, among many other fundamental rights. In this context, civil society organizations and individuals have often shifted or adapted their mandates, initiatives, and purposes after facing threats from organized crime, having however limited tools and resources to do so.

Here are a few examples of issues and projects that can be helpful in guiding your application. Organized crime and human rights can include a broad range of specific topics and issues and the following list is non-exhaustive. However, a successful application must clearly elaborate on the direct correlation between both topics.

Human rights and organized crime:

  • Youth and children’s rights as threatened by forced labor, modern slavery, or human trafficking.
  • Youth and children rights as threatened by the activities of criminal groups including recruitment by gangs, or their involvement in criminal activity like extortion, micro-trafficking, or murder-for-hire.
  • Women’s rights as violated by manifestations of criminal governance and exploitation, including sexual exploitation, human smuggling and trafficking, forced labor in mining, manufacturing or agricultural sectors.
  • Indigenous rights endangered by the presence of criminal markets, including land grabbing, illegal logging, illegal mining, or illegal crop plantations in protected territories.
  • Gender rights including the harassment or systematic attacks to LGTBQIA+ communities by criminal actors.
  • Migrant rights jeopardized by criminal organizations controlling routes or mobility.
  • Protection of freedom of speech, especially regarding independent media houses and journalists, from harassment or attacks by criminal actors.
  • Protection of digital rights, including where organized criminal groups exploit vulnerable communities through digital threats, or where anti-cybercrime legislation is used by authorities to crack down on protest, freedom of speech or information sharing.

Eligibility criteria

For the year 2023, a total of 10 Fellows will be selected.

Applicants should have a background in any of the following fields: journalism and media; activism; advocacy and community mobilization; the creative arts (artists, writers, filmmakers, and others); community leaders (religious, cultural, youth leaders); academia (researchers, consultants, and scholars), human rights practitioners working directly with affected communities, and the public sector (policymakers). Individuals from other disciplines will be considered if their work is relevant to the Fellowship’s objectives and the annual theme.

The Fellowship welcomes applications from people of any gender, ethnicity, age, religion or any other defining factor, who work in communities affected by organized crime. The overall make-up of the 10 Fellows will be diverse and will reflect an equitable geographic and gender balance.

Selection criteria:

  • Participants should be from countries disproportionately affected by organized crime and/or from least developed countries.
  • Participants should ideally work closely within communities severely affected by organized crime, or have strong ties within them, and should have ongoing or established projects or engagement. The cross-border nature of issues related to organized crime allows applicants working within a wider, non-geographic community to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Participants should have knowledge or work towards protecting human rights that are being violated or threatened due to the prevalence of organized crime and criminal governance.
  • Participants should be able to demonstrate how the funding and support will be used.
  • Participants who have direct experience in their communities’ issues, related to the annual theme, are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Participants must be fluent in at least one of these three languages: Spanish, English or French.
  • Participants’ prior work should demonstrate a commitment to the ethics and values of the Resilience Fund.

Each fellow will receive US$15 000 (divided in three payments of US$5 000) to be executed with no other limitation than the principles of professionalism, integrity and transparency; the proposal presented in the application form; the terms and conditions of the Fellowship agreement, and the implementation of collaborative actions with other fellows.

How to apply (ONLINE FORM)

Interested parties must submit an application through the online form provided in the Resilience Fund webpage (link also available at the end of this section). This form contains a set of questions where the applicant should highlight her/his/their background, how he/she/they worked to address organized crime and human rights in communities, and a proposed project for the Fellowship.

Please make sure that your responses are clear, succinct and do not exceed the maximum of words stablished.

You will not be able to attach any documents to your application. Please make sure that you have included all relevant information in the online form. It will not be possible to edit it once it has been submitted.

Applications will not be received by email. They must all be submitted via the online form.

If you have technical issues uploading your application or if you have any questions, please contact: fellowship@globalinitiative.net

Previous Fellows

I really enjoyed the fellowship; it has been a valuable addition to my career as an environmental activist. It gave me the tools to respond to environmental crime issues in my community, a commitment I will continue independently. The fellowship allowed for the voices in my community to be heard.

Ismael Ocen

beneficiary of the 2022 Resilience Fellowship

This fellowship has given me a platform to give a voice to victims of extortion and abuse in Malawi. The Fellowship equipped me with the necessary skills and enabled me to engage with others to bring about change and amplify the voice of the victims who are failed by the system, and help them access justice and support.

Ponelo Kalonga

beneficiary of the 2021 Resilience Fellowship

This Fellowship is very important for me as an activist, as it has allowed me to echo the voices of powerless, marginal and indigenous people who, for a long time, have been deeply affected by the corporate economic crimes perpetrated by the palm-oil industry.

Nukila Evanty

beneficiary of the 2021 Resilience Fellowship

I thank the Global Initiative for selecting me for the Fellowship, which has helped me, my organization and the other Fellows. My organization unexpectedly struggled financially due to COVID-19, so I could use some of the funds from the Fellowship for the operation of a free helpline service to tackle unsafe migration, trafficking, violence, abuse and missing children during the pandemic in Cambodia and get further support to frontline counsellors

Sok Phay Sean

beneficiary of the 2020 Resilience Fellowship

Let's stay in touch

By subscribing to this mailing list you will get regular updates from the GI-TOC Resilience Fund and gain access to exclusive content from our team and our beneficiaries.