At the beginning of March 2018, the Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC launched three projects supporting human rights actions in Botswana. The projects will be funded for approximately P5.1 million through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and will be carried out by BOCONGO, Gender Links and Stepping Stones International.

Over the next two years, BOCONGO will be funded to work on civic education and the participation in political processes. Gender Links will receive a grant to work on empowering women and ending gender violence in Botswana, also for two years. Stepping Stones International will receive funds for their work on child protection for 18 months.

The Grant award follows the November 2016 invitation by the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC to Civil Society Organisations to submit proposals in the areas of 1) Civic education around the principles of democracy and participation in political processes; 2) Child protection – enabling communities and service providers to better address child protection issues and 3) Empowerment of women to strengthen female participation in decision making structures at all levels.

The EIDHR is a self-standing financial instrument which promotes democracy and human rights worldwide. It aims to contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy, the Rule of Law, and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms within the framework of the European Union’s policy on development cooperation with third countries, consistent with the European Union’s foreign policy as a whole. The EU is fully committed to supporting the work of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and the implementation of the agreed recommendations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The EIDHR programme was first launched in 2013, bringing its overall total support to Civil Society Organisations in Botswana over the past 5 years to about P20 million. Actions supported have included Civic Education, GBV, LGBTI, Disability, Minority /Indigenous people’s rights and Child Protection.

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