Portenier Human Rights Bursary

THE PORTENIER HUMAN RIGHTS BURSARY COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED FOR 2017. The winner, chosen by an independent jury, is expected to be announced in late July.

"Human rights abuses continue unabated in the 21st century, and human rights defenders worldwide need the support of journalists and documentarians to help them shine a light on these injustices. Some of the worst abuses are committed against women and children, sometimes as a result of war, but often systematically, in the name of culture and religion. The purpose of this bursary is to help ensure the safety of journalists and documentary filmmakers as they expose some of the most egregious abuses of human rights in the world today.”  - Giselle Portenier



The Portenier Human Rights Bursary is open to independent journalists and independent documentary-makers of any nationality with projects focusing on human rights abuses. The inaugural winner in 2015 was Jason O’Hara, a Toronto-based documentary filmmaker. He is seen right receiving medical treatment after being attacked by police in Rio de Janeiro before the 2014 World Cup.  Photo: Bernardo Guerreiro/Midia Ninja Collective.                                   

The 2016 Portenier winner, Eman Helal, is a Cairo-based photojournalist who documents sexual harassment and physical attacks on Egyptian women. Her photographs and photo-essays have appeared in many international publications including The New York Times and The Guardian

Applicants compete for a single bursary of C$3,000 to help them attend a hostile environment course offered by one of the following approved course providers: AKE, Dart Centre at Columbia Journalism School1st Options SecurityGlobal Journalist Security, Pilgrims GroupRemote TraumaTundra Group or TYR/Blue Mountain Group. These courses typically run 4 to 5 days. The list of course providers is subject to change from time to time. 

The Portenier winner is chosen by an independent jury. She or he will have two months after notification to choose a course provider and secure a place on a course, beginning within 9 months of the winner being notified. Most courses run for 4 or 5 days.                                                                                                                                                                     


Applications open: May 15, 2017

Application deadline: June 15, 2017

Notification of winners expected by: July 31, 2017

Courses to be chosen by: September 30, 2017

Courses to begin by: April 30, 2018

Applying for an FFF bursary does not disqualify a candidate from applying for the Portenier, and vice versa, but applicants must meet the appropriate qualifications. No person, however, may receive two bursaries from the Forum in the same year.

You can read the rules to see if you qualify. While the competition is open, we provide a link to the online application form at the bottom of the rules page. 

On peut lire les règles pour voir si vous êtes admissible. Bien que la concurrence soit ouvert, nous fournissons un lien au bas de la page de règles pour la formulaire de demande en ligne.