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  • Claim Your space

Rapid response mechanism for civil society and human rights defenders at risk

Claim Your Space is a rapid response mechanism available through Global Focus. The purpose of Claim Your Space is to provide rapid financial support to civil society and human rights defenders at risk. The mechanism is a response to the global shrinking of civic space; freedoms of expression, gathering and association.

Provision of CYS emergency assistance will be available to individuals, organisations, movements, and groups active in Sub-Saharan African countries, Palestine, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. CYS is unique in its capacity to provide both rapid emergency support and support for establishing proactive and sustainable responses to shrinking civic space.

Here you can download a letter about the fund you can send to relevant partners.

Annual Closing Days: Please note that due to annual staff leave, Global Focus is not processing applications for Claim Your Space support in the following periods: July 15–31 & December 15-31. Applications may be submitted during these times but will not be processed until the beginning of the following month (August & January).


For more Information contact:

Kristian Kopp
Funding Advisor

+45 53 39 88 43
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CYS criteria for application vary between the two tracks of the CYS mechanism. Overall it applies to both tracks that applicants:

  • Can be any civil society actor (organisation, movement, group of activists) who has either been:
    • Collaborating with a Danish Civil Society Organisation.
    • Funded by a Danish embassy.

  • Must have experienced restrictions such as threats, attacks, extra bureaucratic hurdles, legal barriers, defamation, harassment, stigmatisation, discrimination, exclusion, marginalisation, displacement etc. due to their work.

  • Must be active within the geographical scope of CYS (Sub-Saharan African countries, Palestine, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar).

  • Must be able to state the amount needed from CYS as well as the timeframe for the planned activities.

  • You can apply for the two CYS tracks through the designated links for secure online application below. The online CYS application form is encrypted to avoid any surveillance or threats of repercussions to applicants.

  • Applications can be submitted in written form, by video or audio. If you do not apply through our online application form you can send your application to Fund Advisor Kristian Kopp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

  • Applications can be submitted in any language. Applications in UN recognised languages are preferred.

  • Make sure you have read the criteria for application thoroughly to ensure that you qualify for the funding and have provided the sufficient information needed in order to receive the grant that you are applying for (note that application criteria differ for the two tracks). This is to ensure our ability to respond to your application quickly.

  • After applying you will be contacted by a Global Focus staff member. Please make sure that the method of contact that you provide through your application is secure, so that you feel comfortable with us reaching out to you through this channel.

    For further information on secure communication see: Keep your online communication private and Communicating with Others.


Claim your Space is part of an international network of rapid response mechanisms. If you do not qualify for CYS, we will guide you to other rapid response mechanisms that operate on the basis of other criteria for applications, or you can follow the links below to view lists of other available rapid response funds that may operate on the basis of other criteria for application. 


TRACK 1: Emergency assistance to individuals and groups under threat

Funding will be granted to individuals and groups under threat to enable them to survive and/or continue operating. The grant will cover expenses aimed at mitigating immediate threats to civil society actors and activities may include rehabilitation, evacuation, legal support, psycho-social support, bail, etc. Grants will be provided up to EUR 5,000 but amounts above may be granted if necessary. The timeframe for the activities should not exceed 3-6 months.

Follow the link to see suggested activities for Track 1


TRACK 2: Grants to local CSO alliances to collectively counter civic space restrictions

ATTENTION: All available grants in 2023 under this Track have now been issued, and we are no longer accepting applications for Track-2 support. Track-2 is scheduled to re-open for new applications in the beginning of 2024, and any news regarding this will be announced on this site. For emergency assistance grants, please see the application form for Track-1 support above. 

Funding will be granted to alliances of local civil society groups working together to collaboratively address a situation of closing civic space that is occurring or is about to occur in the country. Project activities must be planned and implemented collectively by two or more partner organizations with the aim of creating sustainable responses to civic space restrictions. The grant will cover expenses in connection with activities countering civic space restrictions, such as alliance building and strengthening among local civil society, advocacy work and campaigns, support and capacity building for local civil society actors, etc. Grants will fall within the range of EUR 15,000 and 20,000. Co-financing is allowed if needed provided that individual expenses are not covered by more than one source of funding. The timeframe should not exceed 12 months.

Follow the link to see suggested activities for Track 2

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