Portenier Human Rights Bursary Competition 2017

Publish Date: May 29, 2017

Deadline: Jun 15, 2017



"Human rights abuses continue unabated in the 21st century, and human rights defenders worldwide need the support of journalists and documentarians to help them shine a light on these injustices. Some of the worst abuses are committed against women and children, sometimes as a result of war, but often systematically, in the name of culture and religion. The purpose of this bursary is to help ensure the safety of journalists and documentary filmmakers as they expose some of the most egregious abuses of human rights inthe world today.” - Giselle Portenier

Applicants compete for a single bursary of C$3,000 to help them attend a hostile environment course offered by one of the following approved course providers: AKE, Dart Centre at Columbia Journalism School, 1st Options Security, Global Journalist Security, Pilgrims Group, Remote Trauma, Tundra Group or TYR/Blue Mountain Group. These courses typically run 4 to 5 days. The list of course providers is subject to change from time to time. 
The Portenier winner is chosen by an independent jury. She or he will have two months after notification to choose a course provider and secure a place on a course, beginning within 9 months of the winner being notified. Most courses run for 4 or 5 days.                                                                                                                                                                     


Applications open: May 15,2017

Application deadline: June 15,2017

Notification of winners expected by: July 31, 2017

Courses to be chosen by: September 30, 2017

Courses to begin by: April 30, 2018

Portenier Human Rights Bursary Rules (2017)  

1. The Portenier Human Rights Bursary is open to any independent journalist or documentary filmmaker in the world, regardless of citizenship or residency. The definition of journalists and filmmakers includes reporters, producers, directors, audio and/or video specialists and fixers, without restriction as to the medium in which they work.  

2.  The bursary is not open to employees or contract employees of major media companies. 

3. There will be a maximum of one award per year, to a maximum amount of $3,000 Canadian.

4. The purpose of the bursary is to provide safety training for experienced or novice journalists or documentary makers working independently in the field of human rights. Applicants should be able to demonstrate (a) a clear interest or track record in casting light on human rights abuses, especially but not exclusively human rights abuses against women and children, and (b) an upcoming assignment or project with such a human rights focus 

5. Applicants must also show that they have important story ideas, a clear focus and sufficient funding for their project or documentary as to make its completion likely. Applications which do not, in the opinion of the organizers, provide reasonable evidence of project financing will not be sent to the jury. This bursary is intended to assist only with hostile environment and associated training, not general production costs. 

6. The bursary winner will be required to attend an approved course provided by any one of the course providers listed at the time on the Forum’s website. Funds may be applied to course fees and reasonable travel, food and accommodation costs, supported by receipts. Bursaries may not cover the full costs of course fees and travel. Bursary winners will be responsible for all costs in excess of the bursary amount.

7. Within two months of notification, successful applicants must secure a place on the course of their choice with one of the approved course providers. The course must begin within 9 months of the applicant’s notification, unless an extension is granted under exceptional circumstances.

8. Part of the course fee may be payable by the bursary winner to the course provider in advance. Where a bursary-holder fails to make such payment to the course provider in advance of course commencement, in the manner the course provider stipulates, the whole bursary may be annulled.

9. Bursaries will be awarded by an independent jury. All decisions, including determinations of eligibility, are final.

10. Applicants are required to fill out the application form, supply a professional c.v., submit evidence of relevant work, provide two references from persons of appropriate standing who can speak to the nature and quality of the applicant’s work and her/his commitment to exploring human rights issues, together with his/her need for hostile environment training. Persons named as referees must have consented to be contacted. Applicants must write approximately 500 words outlining their case for consideration.

11. Successful applicants will be required to sign an agreement including an indemnity recognizing that safety training is provided in good faith and that neither the Forum, its officers, directors or agents nor any of the financial supporters, their officers, directors or agents will be liable for damages relating to incidents during the training or consequent to that training.

12. Applications may be submitted in English or French, but applicants may be required to demonstrate that they have adequate understanding of the language of instruction, which for all courses currently approved is English.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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