Human rights – Meeting between Catherine Colonna and Marianne Initiative winners (5 december 2022)


The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs will receive the winners of the Marianne Initiative tomorrow. Designed to strengthen French support for human rights defenders at home and abroad, the Marianne Initiative was unveiled by President Macron at the Equality Generation Forum in July 2021.

On the international level, the Initiative will channel funding and support from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to human rights defenders abroad through the Ministry’s diplomatic network, the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI) and the Human Rights Platform, established in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD). It will help civil society organizations and human rights defenders increase their impact, visibility and safety. On the national level, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and the Marianne Association for Human Rights Defenders, some 15 human rights defenders will be hosted in France for six months where they will receive assistance in strengthening their fight for fundamental rights and freedoms.

The 15 winners who were welcomed in France this past March come from Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Colombia, Iraq, Nicaragua, Palestine, Tanzania, Turkey, Russia, Sudan and Syria. During their stay, they have received personalized support and training, and have developed partnerships enabling them to develop concrete projects to advance the cause of civil and political rights, freedom of expression, women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, the fight against climate change and environmental protection.

With Human Rights Day approaching on December 10, the Minister will reiterate her commitment to providing support for human rights defenders who are fighting to ensure that rights are respected in circumstances that are often difficult and dangerous. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is strongly committed to this fight to uphold our values, human dignity and democratic resiliency, and to oppose all human rights violations.

A new group of Marianne Initiative winners will be welcomed in January for six months.