Request for Proposals: Support for survivor-led advocacy in the European Union to prevent and combat online child sexual abuse

Deadline for application: 15 January 2023

Location: Online

The “Request for Proposal” also exists in German, French, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. You can request a copy in your preferred language by emailing us at rfpsurvivors@oakfnd.org

Trigger warning: mentions of child sexual abuse and exploitation. If you or someone you know are a survivor of sexual violence and may want help, please visit the website of Rape Crisis Network Europe.

Background:
In 2021 alone, an estimated 85 million images and videos of child sexual abuse were reported worldwide. Europe is the world leader in hosting child sexual abuse material. In 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation found that Europe hosted 72 per cent of all child sexual abuse material reports that they received and traced.

In May 2022, the European Commission released proposed EU Legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. Among other measures, the proposed legislation seeks to put in place rules for preventing and combatting the sexual abuse of children online, including responsibilities for providers of hosting services and online platforms to tackle child sexual abuse material and child sexual exploitation, and the creation of an EU Centre on Child Sexual Abuse to prevent and fight child sexual abuse online and offline and support victims and survivors.

Survivors’ voices are currently marginalised or absent from the public discourse about the proposed EU legislation. For the best possible approach to preventing and combatting online child sexual abuse to be adopted by the EU and its members states, we need to listen to the experiences and demands of those children that we failed to protect from online child sexual abuse, and who are now committed to speaking out and advocating so that all children get to grow up safe.

Oak Foundation intends to provide funding to support survivor-led organisations to participate in the public discourse about the proposed EU legislation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. These organisations will also raise awareness about the growing issue of online child sexual abuse, and advocate for what people with lived experience see as the necessary policies to ensure that the Internet is a safe space where all children can learn, play, and grow.

About Oak:
Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. Through its grant-making, Oak Foundation supports others to make the world a safer, fairer, and more sustainable place to live. Together with our partners – along with policy-makers, global institutions, businesses, and the public – we can build societies where children are never sexually abused. To this end, we work through two sub-programmes to: (1) promote, advance and scale up solutions to reduce child sexual abuse; and (2) engage with and hold global institutions accountable to prevent abuse and to end impunity for child sexual abuse. If you want to read more about our strategy, click here. Over the last few years, the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme has increased its work with survivors. In 2021, almost a quarter of our budget went to survivor-led organisations across the world. We are committed to continue to elevate survivors’ voices and efforts through our grant-making.

1. Scope
Civil society organisations focused on survivor-led and survivor-centred approaches to advocacy on ending sexual violence against children and adolescents are well positioned to drive efforts with their respective governments, as well as with the overall EU group of countries.

Examples of activities that can be supported as part of advocacy efforts include:

  • Salary support to staff and the hiring of consultants who are leading and supporting advocacy efforts.
  • Development and dissemination of digital and printed materials (e.g., social media toolkits, calls to action, etc.) in one country or across multiple countries.
  • Costs associated in one country or across multiple countries with: organising campaigns; awareness raising events; press conferences; rallies; vigils; stunts; creative content; and campaigning collateral and merchandise.
  • Costs associated with media actions, op-eds.
  • Meetings and travel (e.g., meetings with key stakeholders, strategy sessions, travel expenses, venue rental, meals, etc.).

This is not an inclusive list and creative tactics and approaches are welcomed.

2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Oak strives to support efforts that espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, with evidence suggesting that gender and other social stereotypes prevent boys from disclosing their experience of sexual exploitation or abuse and seeking support services, we are looking to support organisations that share our belief that sexual violence affects children of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Our work against this issue needs to be inclusive of all children in order to be effective in ending sexual violence.

3. How to Apply
This is a targeted RFP open to survivor-led organisations engaged in advocacy efforts aimed at prioritising the prevention and response to online child sexual abuse and exploitation in the European Union and its member states. Grants will be provided on a competitive basis from a limited pool of funding of USD 250,000. Due to limited funding, we will prioritise funding for organisations with a presence in France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and Belgium. To be eligible to apply for funding, organisations must provide proof of registration as a not-for-profit entity.

Oak Foundation will consider requests in the range of USD 5,000 – 50,000; we encourage that requests higher than USD 50,000 be collective submissions. Alliances or coalitions with survivor-led organisations are encouraged to apply.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate each application:

  • Survivor-led: The applicant demonstrates that survivors are playing a lead role in determining the advocacy agenda, designing and implementing the activities, and in communications.
  • Strategic value: The applicant’s proposed approach influences key actors on critical issues at the national and EU level.
  • Clarity of vision and feasibility: The applicant provides a clear articulation of their funding ask, target constituents and outlines a clear timeframe and approach to advocate for change.
  • Capacity: The applicant has the ability to deliver the results. Additionally, the applicant has considered how to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of their staff and spokespeople. The organisation has considered how to carry out crisis communications.
  • Collaboration: The applicant expresses ways in which they will coordinate their advocacy plan with other partners in their country and with other efforts in other countries, and joint advocacy underway at the EU headquarters.
  • Budget: The amount requested is within the allowed band or supplemented by additional funds. Requests outside of this range will be considered on an exceptional basis when merited.

Applicants are encouraged to include in their applications funding for any capacity-building support they find necessary and important – this includes funds for staff well-being.

Interested applicants are requested to submit a short proposal using the application template shared alongside this RFP. Guidelines to support the development of the proposal are provided in the template. Additional documentation and paperwork may be requested from successful applicants to perform required due diligence checks. For technical questions about the application process, please contact rfpsurvivors@oakfnd.org.

4. Timeline

  • 15 January 2023: deadline for proposals to be submitted to rfpsurvivors@oakfnd.org with the subject line “EU Survivors’ Voices RFP”.
  • 15 January – 3 February, 2023: Committee will review applications; additional information and documentation may be requested if necessary.
  • 3 February 2023: Oak will communicate its funding decision to applicants.
  • March 2023: Selected grantees can expect to receive funds.

 

Application form + documentation
You can view and download the full documentation including the application form here.

The “Request for Proposal” also exists in German, French, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. You can request a copy in your preferred language by emailing us at rfpsurvivors@oakfnd.org

 

 

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