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IDREAM: Capacity Development for Human Rights Defenders in Exile

Last updated: August 31, 2023

Human rights defenders (HRDs) are often targeted and exiled for their work. The resulting displacement and isolation impact their psychosocial resilience, their ability to develop and implement strategic and tactical human rights advocacy campaigns, and their capacity to evaluate risk and respond appropriately.

IDREAM is a capacity development project for HRDs working in exile and their organizations. IDREAM seeks to incubate a global network of HRDs in exile to identify novel solutions to common challenges, build solidarity, support each other through peer mentoring and resource-sharing, and decrease isolation.

Project participants receive financial support, training and mentoring in three core areas:

Advocacy: The overall objective of IDREAM is to increase the effectiveness of the advocacy work of HRDs in exile. IDREAM provides participants with the information, tools, and resources needed to be more focused, more creative, and more likely to succeed in their advocacy efforts.

Psychosocial Resilience: Living in exile and dealing with work-related stress can lead to extreme fatigue or burnout. IDREAM provides participants with resources and strategies to strengthen well-being and resilience in the face of great challenges so they can continue to conduct effective, sustainable advocacy.

Integrated Security: Integrated security combines digital security, physical security, and well-being. Many HRDs working in exile experience additional restrictions on their work, including those related to surveillance, threats, and direct attacks. IDREAM helps project participants analyze their security issues, and develop strategies to help reduce risks.

IDREAM participants move through the project in cohorts of about ten organizations. Each cohort participates in approximately 14 months of capacity development activities: live online training with the all cohort members; asynchronous online training and activities presented through a secure online portal; and virtual mentoring and coaching. This model provides opportunities for project participants to learn from one another, exchange ideas, and network.

For more details on the project and eligibility please contact [email protected]

Time Commitment & Benefits

During the IDREAM Project participants will:

Spend on average 20 hours per month in virtual training, exchange and mentoring activities with IDREAM staff and other IDREAM participants.

Receive funding to cover the costs associated with participation in the project as well as funding for some of their advocacy efforts.


An eligible candidate would benefit most from this project if they:

  • Live in exile as a result of their advocacy work in human rights.
  • Are interested in understanding the psychosocial, physical and digital security impacts of advocacy work.
  • Have been unable to return to their established home (their home country, city, town or district) due to ongoing threats.
  • Can clearly state their advocacy issue of interest.
  • Think participation in the IDREAM Project will not harm their exile status.

Note: English speaking and writing proficiency is necessary to participate in IDREAM because online training activities with other HRDs around the globe will take place in English.


NOTE: The application process is currently closed.