Priorities and activities to be co-financed
1. Preventing and combating gender-based violence - Indicative amount: € 7 020 000
1.1. Prevention, protection and/or support of victims of domestic violence[
The focus is on gender-based violence in the domestic sphere, including harmful practices, in line with the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), particularly Chapters III and IV related to prevention, support and protection measures. Such focus will contribute to implement obligations under EU law concerning victims' rights (particularly Directive 2012/29/EU, Directive 2011/99/EU28 and Regulation (EU) No 606/201328).
Projects may tackle this specific form of violence through either/or:
- Prevention: actions such as those bringing about attitudinal and behavioural change and raising awareness of domestic violence (as defined in Art. 3b of the Istanbul Convention); development of tools to help recognise and address early signs of domestic violence such as systematic screening for signs of domestic violence by medical practitioners (or other practitioners in services not directly linked to domestic violence support, for example social or educational services); programmes aimed at empowering victims to report violence, helping to achieve report rates that reflect the real scale of violence;
- Protection: measures such as those aimed at promoting multi-disciplinary cooperation and capacity-building for relevant professionals involved in victim protection and support activities to ensure that timely and effective protection measures are in place to guarantee a victim's safety and prevent further violence; development of methods and protocols for risk assessments and their effective implementation;
- Support: actions such as training and capacity-building of victim support professionals assisting and supporting victims to ensure that victims are fully informed of their rights and referred to the appropriate services (such as legal and psychological counselling, housing, health care and social services); development of programmes to empower victims to gain economic independence (such as providing shelter, child care, education, training and assistance in finding employment).
1.2 Protection and support for victims of gender-based violence amongst particularly vulnerable groups
The focus is on the protection and support for adult victims of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, rape, from particularly vulnerable groups including but not limited to young women, people with a migrant background, asylum-seekers, refugees, LGBTI persons, ethnic minorities (including Roma people), women with disabilities, women living and/or working on the street.
Actions should focus on facilitating access to protection and support services for these victims addressing their specific needs (whether provided by law enforcement, the justice system, victim support services or social and health services) and on multi-disciplinary cooperation and capacity building for relevant professionals in contact with these groups to ensure timely and effective protection and support. Prevention work specifically targeting these groups (such as awareness-raising and communication campaigns) may also be considered.
1.3 Prevention of and responses to sexual harassment
The focus is on the prevention of and responses to sexual harassment, including cyber-harassment. The concept of "sexual harassment" refers to any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Actions may address both physical or psychological offline and online harassment.
Actions should focus on developing tools for reporting incidents: awareness raising amongst groups at risk (e.g. young adult social media users) and victims in order to educate about risks and rights, empower victims to report incidents and claim their rights; developing guidelines and manuals for specialised support services (e.g. in the work place, schools, universities, online); and capacity-building for relevant professionals. Actions with a broader focus such as public awareness-raising to tackle prejudices and gender stereotypes and norms that encourage or condone sexual harassment may also be considered.
Projects targeting a young adult population are encouraged.
2. Preventing and combating violence against children - Indicative amount: € 4 680 000
Violence against children is understood as "all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect of negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse" as listed in Article 19(1) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in alignment with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's General comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence. Article 39 of the UNCRC enshrines the right to rehabilitation of child victims. Moreover, the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development 16.2 target aims to “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children”.
Several EU instruments, including the 10 Principles for integrated child protection systems, aim to promote the protection of children from all forms of violence as well as the rehabilitation of child victims.
This priority will focus on three areas:
2.1 Capacity-building for trainee and in-service medical practitioners (including but not limited to general practitioners, dentists, paediatricians, nurses, accident and emergency practitioners), social service practitioners, police and the education sector (including early childhood education and care, schoolteachers, other school/early childhood education and care staff), with the aim of systemising robust prevention, detection, identification and responses to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), with a clear focus on promoting positive and caring relationships to foster resilience. This call does not aim to record or add up ACE scores, but rather to promote awareness of what ACEs are, and their potential impact, and to strengthen caring and responsive support networks. The presence of just one caring and compassionate adult in a child’s life can make all the difference. Any capacity-building should be conducted by expert practitioners in the field.
Adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse, neglect, living with a household member who is an alcoholic or drug user, who has been imprisoned, or diagnosed with mental illness, among others, not only affect children’s development but may also affect their health and wellbeing throughout the life course. Children may be labelled or stigmatised or diagnosed as having ‘behavioural’ issues, without due understanding of and response to the trauma(s) suffered by the child. At the same time, there is a good evidence-base for factors that promote a child’s resilience and mitigate potential harms from ACEs.
2.2 Capacity-building for specialist forensic interviewers for child victims of violence (in line with how the role is assigned at country level: e.g. national child protection systems, the police, the prosecutor, Barnahus, etc), with the aim of systemising forensic interviewing specialists, preventing further trauma to child victims, ensuring a pathway to therapy and improving prosecution rates. Any capacity-building must be conducted by expert practitioners in the field.
Repeated interviews of child victims of violence may cause re-traumatisation and may impede due process. As recognised in multiple international, EU and Council of Europe legal instruments and policy documents, interviewers should be trained and specialised in working with children. In some countries, the geographic coverage of specialist forensic interviewers for children is not yet assured and children may have no access to a specialised forensic interviewer or have to travel long distances. Furthermore, specialisation requires access to continuous and expert training, provided by experts according to evidence-based practice and protocols, with a strong focus on taking account of each child’s individual needs and characteristics. Proposals under this strand are expected to take account of the learning from previous EU-funded projects.
2.3 Capacity-building for trainee and in-service specialist practitioners providing evidence-based and trauma-informed therapeutic services and treatment to child victims of violence, with the aim of systemising the adequate national coverage of therapeutic services for child victims, taking account of individual children as well as groups of children and children as a group (e.g. in cases of mass victimisation and/or terrorism). Any capacity-building must be conducted by expert practitioners in the field.
As enshrined in multiple international, EU and Council of Europe legal instruments, victims have the right to assistance in their recovery. In particular, children exposed to trauma are entitled to receive child-sensitive support and treatment.
The proposals submitted for funding need to seek to systematise the adequate national coverage of therapeutic services for child victims in a given territory. The capacity-building is envisaged for in-service practitioners and trainee practitioners. The proposals can cover children as individuals, or children as a group (e.g. natural disaster, terrorist attack) where preparedness to meet the needs of child victims may be low). The project rationale should be well explained.
2. Description of the activities
Activities shall include:
- awareness-raising and empowerment activities;
- capacity-building and training for professionals;
- design and implementation of protocols, development of working methods and tools;
- exchange of good practices, mutual learning;
Practical projects developing and implementing concrete measures are preferred. While research is not excluded, if some research activities are to be part of the project, they shall be strictly linked to the project as a whole and be designed so as to not duplicate existing research.
Activities must take place in countries participating to the REC Programme to be eligible for funding.
Support of public authority
It is strongly encouraged to involve a public authority, including regional and local authorities, to be actively involved in the projects. For projects related to gender-based violence, these public authorities can be national, regional or local Ministries/agencies/equality bodies responsible for gender equality and/or provision of services to victims of violence or perpetrators; police, judicial, health or education authorities etc., as relevant. For projects related to children, these public authorities can be Ministries and/or agencies responsible for children (e.g. child protection agencies and services, national guardianship institutions, Ministries for children, child protection, education, health, social affairs, justice, children's ombudspersons and/or national human rights institutes for children, responsible regional authorities, law enforcement authorities etc). The rationale for the choice must be documented and explained in Part B Project Description and Implementation.
This support will be expressed through Annex 5 - Letter from the public authority supporting the application and will be assessed under the award criterion b) quality.
Child protection/safeguarding policy
If a project will involve direct contact with children, the beneficiaries of funding (including partners) need to provide their child protection/safeguarding policy, if they work directly with children during the project. Each partner must provide their own child protection policy if they will be working directly with children (not a cumulative one per consortium). However, given the subject matter of these calls, for all projects concerning children, child safeguarding must be central to project design and implementation, and must be addressed. The applicant must describe and submit the child protection/safeguarding policy it will adhere to in Annex 4 to their application.
A child protection policy should include standards that cover four broad areas (for more information please see “Child safeguarding standards and how to implement them”: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/standards_child_protection_kcsc_en_1.pdf):
A child protection policy must include clear procedures and rules to staff, including reporting rules, and continuous training on this should be in place.
The child protection policy should be available online, i.e. transparent to all those who come in contact with the organisation.
The applicant’s child safeguarding/protection policy will be assessed under selection criteria (operational capacity of the applicant and partners).
3. Expected results
1. Preventing and combating gender-based violence
1.1. Prevention, protection and/or support of victims of domestic violence
1.2. Protection and support for victims of gender-based violence amongst particularly vulnerable groups
1.3 Prevention of and responses to sexual harassment
2. Preventing and combating violence against children
This call aims to fund targeted, practical projects ensuring maximum tangible and demonstrable benefits and impacts on the lives of beneficiaries. Research activities are not excluded, but the accent is put on the practical side and projects should include a combination of elements to form a coherent whole. While the projects should build on evidence of what works (e.g., from previous available research), they should have an applied nature and lead to practical applications. Projects should not only develop a sound methodology using available evidence and recognised existing good practice or tried and tested intervention models but also include a large proportion of practical implementation measures and outcomes. These aspects will be taken into account when evaluating the quality of proposals. Applicants are invited to consider the weighting of the work streams, with a view to ensuring maximum practical benefits, positive outcomes and impacts for the target groups and the final beneficiaries, and to check that the management and coordination work streams (including travel) are not over-resourced. All applications should describe how access to the selected target group(s) will be assured, considering, where appropriate, whether it is useful to ground activities to a place/geographical space also, e.g. school, workplace, museums, city, etc. Activities such as the development of materials, the mapping of existing materials or research should be, at most, minor components of project proposals. If included, the need should be solidly justified in the proposal; they should lead to practical applications and interventions.
Any training and/or practical tools should have an overarching objective to make the system work better to improve outcomes for children. This may include development and delivery of new training modules/tools or roll out and delivery of previously tried and tested training modules/tools. Proposals should describe how access to those to be trained will be assured and describe how training/tools will be rolled out in the participating countries. In terms of promoting sustainability, capacity-building should preferably focus on train-the-trainer approaches and may also include tools such as checklists/draft protocols, etc. For transnational projects, any training modules developed should be made available with a view to being replicated or adapted for reuse in other EU Member States. New training modules must be piloted and, if necessary, adapted prior to delivery.
Projects for each of the priorities under this call can be either national or transnational and should be elaborated in close partnership with and/or be led by appropriate key players, such as child protection agencies, Barnahus, police, health services, the education sector, the judiciary, victim support organisations, etc. Applicants must document that they have the prior commitment of participating key players. Good quality cooperation among partners will be instrumental in making innovative projects successful. Regardless of whether projects are national or transnational in nature, they should aim to produce results that create or contribute to implementation of standards at European level, or that could be transferable to other Member States.
Applicants are invited to take note of and learn from previously funded projects (see bibliography). The continuation or follow-up of successful initiatives, including the scaling-up of existing initiatives and/or testing them in a different context, may be funded if it is aligned with one of the priorities. However, the exact duplication of an initiative will not be funded.
For projects in the area of violence against children, projects must take a rights-based approach and be clearly grounded in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and the UN Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC). Applicants are required to include clear and explicit references to EU and international law and standards they will adhere to or be guided by in project design, implementation, evaluation and monitoring and explain the project rationale.
Applying behavioural insights (priority 1)
For priority 1 - Preventing and combating gender-based violence, applicants are encouraged – wherever possible – to apply insights and practical tools from behavioural sciences in their projects in view of achieving changes in attitudes and behaviour. Below is a step-by-step approach to guide applicants in the incorporation of behavioural insights in their projects. For illustrative purposes, the examples below refer to gender-based violence, though the same reasoning could apply to other issues.
1) First, applicants should provide a clear description of the issue that will be tackled by the proposed action. If we consider gender-based violence, the description should specify the type(s) of violence (for example physical, emotional), its characteristics (for example prevalence, severity) and the concrete context(s) (for example university, workplace, household) that will be covered by the proposed action. Additionally, the objective(s) of the action should be clearly defined. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) and should be set ahead of the action.
2) Second, the proposed action should identify the underlying determinants (also called behavioural causes) of the issue at stake. This could be, for example, passive stance of bystanders, low reporting of violence by victims. As the issues identified under point 1 likely have multiple underlying determinants, the proposed action could focus on several of these, or on only one. Each of the different underlying determinants the projects aims to tackle should be clearly indicated in the proposal.
3) Third, the proposed action should encourage a specific target group(s) to perform target behaviour(s) or discourage them from doing so. Actions may aim, for instance, at encouraging victims of violence to report the incidences of violence to the relevant authorities and/or to seek help in dedicated shelters; aim at changing ways of working of professionals to make it easier to report incidences of violence; aim at motivating journalists to avoid stereotypes by changing the way they report on and portray violence against women; or aim at changing men's perception of traditional gender roles, which support the acceptability of violence against women, etc.
4) Fourth, once the target group(s), the underlying determinants and the target behaviour are identified, applicants should describe the solutions (also called behavioural levers) that will be implemented. For example, if the proposed action aims at reducing the social acceptance of gender-based violence, the project could focus on changing social norms (for example, signalling the appropriate behaviour by comparing an individual’s conduct with that of the majority of his /her peers/neighbours/friends), or make use of so-called "commitment devices" (convincing the target group to make a public pledge to carry out a certain behaviour/ support the target group in developing a specific plan to achieve a certain goal) as part of the intervention.
5) Fifth, the proposed action should specify the outcome that the proposed solution aims at generating and how the outcome(s) will be measured. Outcomes refer to impact, change in attitudes or behavioural change resulting from the action, and should not be confused with project outputs (e.g. number of leaflets published, number of people reached). If possible, projects should propose a measurable objective, compared to a baseline. For example, if the goal is to increase reporting of violence, a valuable outcome measure would be the number of cases reported to the police following the implementation of the project. If the goal is to change attitudes of a certain group of professionals, projects should not only measure how many attended training, but also ask them about their attitudes before and after the training. All interventions should include collection of relevant data, to be able to compare the situation before and after the project.
6) Sixth, to find out whether the proposed actions will have the desired effects, ideally the project should include a phase of pre-testing the solutions before implementing them in full-scale. Such ex-ante assessment of the expected effect of the intervention will provide valuable insights on whether the proposed action has the intended effects and helps to ensure that, once fully deployed, the action focus is on what works. One possibility would be to use a randomised controlled trial.
7) Seventh, the proposed action should include an evaluation of impact. Such evaluation should be part of the initial project plan, to make sure that the most appropriate evaluation design is used, and to set up valid outcomes measures (together with robust and feasible metrics) that allow the actual impact of the action to be determined. Several evaluation methods can be used such as after-only designs, before-after or pre-post designs, RCTs and field experiments.
Projects funded under this call shall also seek to promote equality between women and men and the rights of the child. Gender and rights of the child mainstreaming means integrating a gender and rights of the child perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a project, as appropriate. Consequently, when relevant, the applicant shall take the necessary steps to ensure that gender equality and child-related issues are taken into account by paying attention to the situation and particular needs of women and men and of children. It is, for example, essential that projects do not silence, stereotype, stigmatise, lay the blame on or discriminate against women or men. Projects should contribute to empowering women and to ensuring that they achieve their full potential and enjoy the same rights as men.
Projects funded under this call shall also comply with the prohibition of discrimination based on any of the grounds listed in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the "Charter"), in accordance with and within the limits set by Article 51 of the Charter. Among others the Commission encourages applicants to promote equal employment opportunities for all its staff and team. The beneficiary is encouraged to foster an appropriate mix of people, whatever their ethnic origin, religion, age, gender and ability.
Finally, all projects under this call shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter.
All proposals relevant to children are expected to respect the child's right to participate. Proposals must make children's involvement central and integral to the project: in designing training and protocols, developing working methods, reviewing services, establishing complaint mechanisms, assessing what needs to be changed at system level, empowering children to be involved in decisions that affect them, etc..In the context of trauma, according to Dr Bessel Van Der Kolk, “trauma invariably involves not being seen, not being mirrored, and not being taken into account. Treatment needs to reactivate the capacity to safely mirror, and be mirrored, by others, but also to resist being hijacked by others’ negative emotions.” Proposals therefore need to be attentive to what child participation means in the different contexts and to properly address the child’s right to be heard.
Monitoring and evaluation
Appropriate attention has to be given to developing a robust evidence base and involving reliable monitoring, evaluation and reporting procedures based on recognised methodological approaches, developed by a competent and experienced policy impact evaluator, in consultation with the relevant project partners. This should include defining the expected impact of the activity in measurable terms and defining a robust methodology and indicators to measure the impact of the activity. For priority 1 - Preventing and combating gender-based violence, this should go well beyond simply surveying participants on their appreciation of activities and deliverables, and consider how best to assess how activities and the use of project outputs impact on attitudinal and behavioural changes among the target group(s), e.g. there is lower tolerance of gender-based violence and the target group reports actual intervention or states they are more likely to intervene when witnessing it, or when witnessing a situation that could lead to gender-based violence, victims are more likely to report experiences of violence, the target group uses learned techniques in their daily/working life, etc. Though applicants are free to choose the method for evaluating the impact of the activities, the method should be robust and appropriate, and involve rigorous data collection and monitoring. For priorities 1, it should provide reliable results on "what works" and "what does not work".
Proposals must make provisions to document the number of persons reached, provide anonymised data disaggregated by sex and by age, and must describe in their grant application how this will be done and how the target group will be reached. Sustainability of projects and dissemination of results
Applications should also include a clear communication, dissemination and sustainability plan, with measures to maintain and monitor results after the end of funding. Applicants should also describe the potential for scaling up the measure, should the activities produce the expected results. The projects should aim at ensuring their durability and appropriate dissemination, including at the end of funding (by promoting and enabling access to their results to the widest possible audience).
Behavioural insights and experimentation
• Sara Rafael Almeida, Joana Sousa Lourenço, Dessart François Jacques, and Emanuele Ciriolo. Insights from behavioural sciences to prevent and combat violence against women. Literature review (2016) https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/insights-behavioural-sciences-prevent-and-combat-violence-against-women-literature-review
• Joana Sousa Lourenço, Emanuele Ciriolo, Sara Rafael Almeida, and Xavier Troussard. Behavioural insights applied to policy: European Report 2016: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research/crosscutting-activities/behavioural-insights
• "Social Experimentation - A methodological guide for policy makers", Written by J-Pal Europe, at the request of Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: https://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=7102&langId=en
• "Applying Behavioural Sciences to EU Policy-making", Joint Research Centre Scientific and Policy Report (2013): http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC83284.pdf
Gender equality and violence against women
Policy documents/background information:
• DG Justice and Consumers' webpages on gender equality, including violence against women: https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality
• "Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019": https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality/gender-equality-strategy_en#thestrategicengagementforgenderequality
• Commission and EEAS Communication "Towards the elimination of female genital mutilation":https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52013DC0833
Data and reports:
• Results of the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) survey on women's experiences of violence: http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/violence-against-women-eu-wide-survey-main-results-report
• Results of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)'s European Working Conditions Surveys (EWCS): http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/surveys/2015/sixth-european-working-conditions-survey-2015
• Report on "Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women in the EU": https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/a8bad59d-933e-11e5-983e-01aa75ed71a1/language-en
• Report on "FGM in Europe – An analysis of court cases: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/7fff7a7b-fc84-11e5-b713-01aa75ed71a1/language-en
• European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)'s studies on gender-based violence: http://eige.europa.eu/gender-based-violence/eige-studies
• Eurobarometer on gender-based violence: http://ec.europa.eu/COMMFrontOffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/Survey/getSurveyDetail/yearFrom/1974/yearTo/2016/surveyKy/2115
• Example of innovative approach to tackle financial insecurity of survivors of domestic violence: https://www.fastcompany.com/40481525/this-startup-teaches-domestic-violence-survivors-to-be-entrepreneurs
Violence against children and rights of the child
Compilation of previously funded projects violence against children/rights of the child
Child refugees and migrants
1. European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers, webpage children in migration: https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/rights-child/children-migration_en
2. European Commission, 10th European Forum on the rights of the child, the protection of children in migration, webpage with relevant links (programme, background documents, webstreaming, presentations): http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/item-detail.cfm?item_id=34456
3. Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action: https://gbvguidelines.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/2015-IASC-Gender-based-Violence-Guidelines_lo-res.pdf
4. European Law Handbook on rights of the child: FRA/CoE/ECtHR Handbook on European law relating to rights of the child http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2015/handbook-european-law-child-rights
5. HUDOC database; case law of the ECtHR: http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=caselaw/HUDOC&c=
Child safeguarding policies
1. Keeping Children Safe standards: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/standards_child_protection_kcsc_en_1.pdf
1. Commission study evaluating legislation, policy and practice on child participation in the EU: https://www.eurochild.org/fileadmin/public/05_Library/Thematic_priorities/05_Child_Participation/European_Union/Evaluation_of_legislation__policy_and_practice_of_child_participation_in_the_European_Union.pdf
2. The Lundy model of child participation (developed by Laura Lundy, Professor of international children's rights at the School of Education at the Queen's University of Belfast): https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/lundy_model_of_participation.pdf
3. Inclusion Europe participation rights children with disabilities http://www.childrights4all.eu/?page_id=114
4. Laura, Lundy (2007) '''Voice" is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child', British Educational Research Journal, 33:6, 927- 942
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and responses to trauma
1.Nadine Burke, “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime” TED talk, 17 February 2015, available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime/up-next
2.Ben Perks, “How do we stop childhood adversity from becoming a life sentence?”, TED talk, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0kV7JtWiE
3.Adverse Childhood Experiences - NHS Health Scotland, available at: https://youtu.be/VMpIi-4CZK0
4.Anne S. J. Farina, Katherine J. Holzer, Matt DeLisi, and Michael G. Vaughn, Childhood Trauma and Psychopathic Features Among Juvenile Offenders, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 1 –22