Call for Proposals: Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Child Sexual Abuse in India

Guidelines for Application

Deadline for submission of full application: 30 September 2015 (1700 ICT)

1. Introduction

Terre des Hommes Netherlands is a development organisation dedicated to children; it is named after a book by the famous French writer and World War II pilot Antoine de Saint Exupèry ­ author of “The Little Prince”. Even before this book was published, he wrote “Terre des Hommes” (Earth of Mankind) in which he called upon ‘the people of the earth’ to take their responsibilities seriously and to show solidarity. He said: “There is no third world. There is one world for which we’re all responsible.” The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the cornerstone of all our programmes. This Convention represents the recognition by the international community that not only do children deserve to be protected, but that they have a right to be so. These rights have been enshrined in this almost universally accepted treaty and have subsequently been incorporated in national legislation in an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations. Terre des homes ­ Netherlands (TdH­NL) has prioritised Child Abuse/Child Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) as one of the thematic impact areas in all it’s operating countries till the year 2020. The abuse/SRHR theme focuses on victims and potential victims of (sexual) abuse including hazardous traditional practices. Targeting the vulnerable children who are marginalised socially, economically, physically or culturally; TdH­NL will design and implement programmes guided by the principal for objectives, outcomes, themes and approaches as elaborated in the organisational Theory of Change. To advocate and promote the rights of children, Terre des Hommes Netherlands organises public and media campaigns to raise awareness, conducts research into the scale and nature of abuse and exploitation as well as lobbying for attention and change. The organisation follows and seeks to influence policy makers on local, national and international levels to adopt, ratify, maintain and enforce legislation to prevent child exploitation and to protect victims of such practices. Terre des Hommes Netherlands always works together with local project partners. These partners are familiar with the situation ‘on the ground’ and know the best ways of reaching out and helping the children concerned. Tackling the violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights/child sexual abuse is an important concentration area in Terre des Hommes Netherlands current strategic plan (2011­2015). As part of its new strategic plan (2016­2020) Terre des Hommes Netherlands plans to increase its support to comprehensive programmes addressing issues related to SRHR and child sexual abuse in Asia. 

2. Call for Proposal: Ensuring Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Child sexual abuse in India

2.1 Background

SRHR is about everyone having the right to a safe, enjoyable sex life, people deciding for themselves if and when they have children. SRHR are the rights for all people, to make choices regarding their own sexuality and reproduction, provided that they respect the rights of others. It includes the right to access to information and services, in order to support these choices and promote sexual and reproductive health. Across the Asia Pacific region, as in other parts of the world, patriarchal and fundamentalist religious views routinely limit women’s exercise of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and often sanction violence against women. Asia has the world’s largest population, and the highest number of unsafe abortions ­ about 9.2 million each year. Nearly half of the world’s unsafe abortions take place in Asia; almost one­third of abortions are carried out in South Asia alone. Taboos and lack of knowledge about abortion laws ­ even among service providers ­ continue to be an issue in Nepal, Pakistan, and India. Sexual and reproductive health indicators in the Asia region remain really low with high maternal mortality ratio at almost 220 deaths per 100,000 live births, high adolescents birth rates particularly in Asia with almost 62 births per 1000 girls aged 15­19, high unmet need for contraception in South Asia at 16%, followed by Southeast Asia at 13%, and women representing almost 35% of people living with HIV in Asia over the past decade. The attainment of SRHR for all is further exacerbated by lack of basic rights, such as achieving food sovereignty, including food and nutrition security, with the Asia­Pacific region hosting the world’s biggest share of the hungriest people at 563 million. SRHR is further affected by cross­region migration with 27.5 out of 214 million international migrants in Asia in 2010. Women constituting a large part of this population are affected with restrictions on mobility, screenings for pregnancies and STIs, including HIV, often without their knowledge or will. The Asia Pacific region also presents great diversity in topography which unfortunately makes the region vulnerable to climate change, thus aggravating the socio­economic divide and leading to food insecurity and gender­power hierarchies and posing increased risk for early marriages, sexual harassment, trafficking, STIs including HIV and AIDS, and rise in gender­based violence. Growth in religious and political conservatism and fundamentalism across countries in the Asia­Pacific region, leading to rolling back of significant policy successes in the SRHR agenda, have also affected women adversely through practices, such as early marriages, often leading to early, unwanted and frequent pregnancies, female genital cutting, and inadequate access to sexuality education and services, including access to contraception and abortion.

Considering factors that influencing violation of SRHR in Asia are Poverty, Socio­cultural factors, Low Education, Political Factors, Climate Change & Natural Disasters and Disability: The issues of SRHR are correlated to other issues of child exploitation where the cycle of problems are related to one another such as child labour, trafficking, child commercial exploitation etc. Although, realisation of SRHR is fundamental both for boys and girls, however, violation and exploitation are predominantly visible on girl child, since the basic problems start with patriarchy, social taboo and gender inequalities in turn contributes to sexual exploitation and harassment, child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, mother and child health, infant mortality, death during pregnancy and delivery, antenatal and postnatal complications, malnutrition and low life expectancy. In India, Around 243 million adolescents stand at the crossroads between childhood and the adult. One third of India’s population is between the ages of 10 and 24. Gender inequality is one of the largest SRHR issues: women are regarded as inferior to men. Sexual abuse and rape are common in India, 50% of the children report to have been sexually abused, while the majority of cases are never reported. Safe abortion is legally available to girls and young women, but is often not accessed due to social stigma. Early marriage is extremely prevalent in India. Every year some four million teenage girls in India have babies. Violence against women is increasing in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, an average of 92 women are raped in India every day. The total number of reported rapes rose to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is endemic. In an alarming trend, girl child numbers in India have shown a sharper decline than the male children in the decade beginning 2011, leading to a skewed child sex ratio. 40% of prostitutes are children, and there is a growing demand for young girls in the industry. 500,000 children are estimated to be forced into the sex trade every year. With a longer term programmatic objective, TdH­NL will undertake abuse/SRHR thematic programmes in it’s operational countries in Asia, prioritizing the South Asian countries. The key issues taken into consideration under child sexual abuse/SRHR with reference to Indian context are ­ i) early and forced marriage ­ prevention and empowerment of early and forced married girls, ii) sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment, and iii) gender­based violence.

2.2 Expected Outcomes.

This Call for Proposals aims to protect children from violations of their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Child Sexual Abuse in India.

It specifically aims to address the following outcomes:

  1. Children at risk of violations of their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse claim their rights
  2. Families and communities protect children children from violations of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse 
  3. The government protects children by making and adequately implementing laws and policies to protect children from violations of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse
  4. Law enforcement agencies convict abusers of children 
  5. Civil society organisations protect the rights and best interests of children and children vulnerable to violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse
  6. Private sector contributes to the wellbeing of children vulnerable to or victims of violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse 

3. Eligibility criteria

The proposed programme should be in line with the Theory of Changes and Outputs (Annex­2) and the four strategies of Terre des Hommes (see section 3.3)

3.1  Geographical focus

The following areas in India are eligible for funding:

  • Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Odisha.

3.2  The applicant and co­applicants

Each programme proposal should consist of at least 3 local NGOs (organisations originated in the country of implementation), local networks or other local non­traditional development partners e.g. research institutes. Terre des Hommes Netherlands has a preference to fund local NGOs, however doesn’t exclude international organisations or stakeholders, but they cannot apply as the lead applicant. Co­applicant(s) participate in designing and implementing the programme.

3.3  Requirements

  • Coherent programmatic approach
  • Terre des Hommes Netherlands will fund programmes on violations of Sexual Reproductive 
  • Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse based on the theory of change with related outputs (Annex 2).
  • Applicants and co­applicants should demonstrate a successful track record in addressing issues related Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse.

Intervention strategies

While the proposed programme should focus on at least three of the four strategies (prevention, promotion, provision and prosecution), all proposed programme plans should include the cross cutting strategy: participation of children and child rights based approach (CRBP).

Types of activities:

1. Prevention: Strategies should target children vulnerable to violations of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse by addressing the root causes such as poverty and lack of education. Activities can include :

  • Girls need access to education, including vocational training. The longer a girl stays in school, the less likely the chance that she will be married off at a young age.
  • Girls need to be empowered through awareness raising and through access to comprehensive sexuality education which allows them to make informed decisions on SRHR issues.
  • The community, especially parents, teachers, community leaders ­ including boys and men­ need to be mobilised to recognise the ill effects of child marriage and be involved to change cultural practices around child marriage and ensure girls can exercise their SRH related rights.
  • Creating alternate life options for girls: providing girls with the 'education to employment continuum' provides them with an enabling solution, allowing them to explore alternative life choices to early marriage.
  • Life skill building of adolescent girls (10­19 years) and women groups: It is important to train adolescent girls and women to train on life skills in order to cope with the situation and protect them from abuses and violence against them.
  • Capacity building programme of married and unmarried women and girls, men and boys (15 years and up) on VAWG issues and make them aware on various forms of violence and the skill to resist them with specific to domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV).

2. Provision: Improve the quality and accessibility of SRHR services for young people so that they have the means to respond to the SRH needs. Immediate support services for violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse could include medical and psychological care, shelter and legal assistance while longer term services could include a return to the family or community, reintegration into school or income­generating opportunities. Feasible economic opportunities for children victim of exploitation or support to their families through e.g. social enterprises, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) etc.

  • Target the most vulnerable groups ­ poor and extreme poor families, ethnic minority, people with disabilities, disasters and climate change affected and children who are at the high risk of abuse and exploitation i.e. children in brothel and streets.
  • Addressing the needs of early married girls: Along with preventing child marriage, it is crucial to address the unique needs of child brides so as to mitigate the negative impacts of child marriage and improve their health and well­being.

3. Promotion: Activities could include addressing the adoption/revision/implementation of National Plans and policies on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse.  This could include developing an advocacy strategy on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse both for national government as well as regional bodies such as SAARC. Some of the specific Activities could include also.  

  • There are two major concerns related to honouring SRHR. One being the ‘age’ of the child which is defined differently in different laws and protocols in obtaining proof of age. Secondly, the existing Act on child marriage prohibition does not cover the ‘prevention’ aspects.
  • Promoting birth and marriage registration: 59% of all births remain unregistered in India. Birth registration is a proof of age and so plays a significant role in preventing the practice as well as ensuring that the girl child and her family can access numerous welfare schemes.
  • Formation of adolescent girls and women groups: formation of adolescent clubs and women self help groups to strengthen peer  support for the empowerment of both social and economical development.  
  • Formation, mobilizing and linking women groups with associations and bringing DV and IPV issues on their priority agenda. Making provision for peer counseling as well inter personal counseling through frontline workers
  • Identifying and sensitising gatekeepers: it is critical to engage gatekeepers who significantly influence a girl's life choices­fathers and brothers, older women in the family, religious and community leaders. Evidence shows that most cases of positive change involve a gatekeeper, those sheer conviction to stand­their­ground enables the girl to delay her marriage.
  • Working with media houses, media stars, other public media and influential businesses, to advocate against violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse and to put influence on governments, traditional and local leaders and the public opinion towards protection of children and instead create safe (commercial) alternatives, should be included.

4. Prosecution: Strengthening the judicial and prosecution system through raising awareness, capacity building and extended support (supplementing/complementing services) to the law enforcement /judicial authorities. Facilitating enabling environment for children to seek legal aid and also provide legal support to the victims of violation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Child Sexual Abuse. Building an enabling environment is critical in order to develop and implement legislation and policies to prevent child marriage and ensure SRHR. advocacy is used as a tool to ensure child marriage is legally prohibited and that laws are implemented accordingly. Terre des Hommes Netherlands believes that cultural practices and traditions should not be a reason to violate child rights and condone abuse and exploitation.

Proposed programme on  Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Sexual Abuse should also seek to address cultural practices and traditions, particularly in relation to gender. Programme design and planned activities should

  • Incorporate the guiding principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child
  • Observe child rights programming
  • Define the role of Terre des Hommes Netherlands in the programme plan
  • Identify and quantify the main target groups
  • Include design for monitoring, evaluation, sustainability, exit strategy and audit
  • Reflect a multi­stakeholder strategy


  • The initial planned duration of a  programme should be 36 months, starting on 1 January 2016.
  • Programme proposals that do not follow the above mentioned requirements and that do not use the prescribed forms are automatically disqualified.

3.4  The grant

  • Depending on the programme design, budget range from: EUR 500,000 to EUR 750,000 for India
  • The proposed programme budget should be at least 85% programme cost and not exceed 15% management cost.

Procedures for awarding of grants

  • Deadline of submission: 30 September 2015 (1700 ICT)
  • Send your proposals to: with subject heading: SRHR Programme Proposal [+ name of lead applicant]


  • All proposals will be assessed and reviewed and short­listed proposals will be subject to a more detailed review including clarificatory questions, validation of information and capacity assessment of programme applicants
  • For selected proposals, final reviews will be conducted 
  • Notice of approval will be send to successful applicants
  • Programme implementation will commence on 1 January 2016

List of annexes

  • Annex 1,  Proposal format:
  • Annex 2, Theory of Change and Outputs, Activity Plan:
  • Annex 3, Budget Format:

Call for Proposals SRHR/Child Abuse India:

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