Originally established in 1962 as the relief arm of Amnesty International, Prisoners of Conscience (PoC) is the only UK-based charity which focuses on transforming the lives of prisoners of conscience through financial and practical support. PoC helps individuals who have been persecuted for their conscientiously-held beliefs, provided that they have not used or advocated violence. The grant recipients include political prisoners, journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, environmental activists, teachers and academics.

Types of assistance offered by the organisation:

Emergency fund

Target group: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, researchers

Operates worldwide 

The hardship relief grants provide the funds needed to cover basic necessities for prisoners of conscience. These emergency grants cover items such as food, living expenses, accommodation, furniture, travel and medicines in the UK and overseas.

Application guidelines for grants are here.

Funding

Target group: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, researchers

Operates worldwide 

Many prisoners of conscience who must seek refuge in other countries need to retrain or re-qualify in their given discipline, or in another field entirely. PoC funds post-graduate and re-qualification studies to allow prisoners of conscience to recommence their work and thereby become self-sufficient and to be able to add back to society.

Application guidelines for grants are here.

Funding

Target group: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, researchers

Operates worldwide 

Family reunion grants help those whose families have had to split up as a result of a human rights violation. This might include supporting visa applications, funding airline travel, medical assessment, legal expenses, DNA testing or allowing a family to see each other again during a visit.

Application guidelines for grants are here.

Career support 

Target group: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, researchers

Operates worldwide 

Employability Panel of trusted, specialist organisations who may be able to assist beneficiaries to find meaningful, skills-related employment.