The Centre for Human Rights Education and Assistance (CHREAA) is among 42 projects that have benefitted from the 2012/2013 Human Rights Grant Scheme funded by the Australian government through Australian Aid (AusAID). AusAID observed International Human Rights Day by announcing the names and details of projects that will receive funding under its 2012 Human Rights Grant Scheme. The Australian aid program supports the protection and promotion of human rights through supporting grass roots activities for local human rights groups and building the institutional capacity of national human rights bodies. A total of $3.7 million will be provided to 42 projects spanning the Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. The Australian government’s Human Rights Grants Scheme provides grant funding to non-government organisations and human rights institutions based or operating in developing countries to promote and protect human rights in direct and tangible ways. Successful applicants include organisations working to improve access to victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Congo, ending the exploitation of children in the Solomon Islands, combatting human trafficking in Cambodia and improving awareness of civil rights in Myanmar. Grants are awarded to projects that achieve one or more of the following objectives:prevent or end gross human rights violations, promote positive change in policies or actions of government or relevant non-state actors in the area of human rights, monitor, seek redress for and/or report on human rights violations, including supporting victims of human rights abuses, educate and/or train human rights victims, workers or defenders, promote observance and implementation of international human rights standards and promote and strengthen national or regional human rights institutions or mechanisms. The CHREAA project intends to empower sex workers to report any Police abuse that they experience to CHREAA through its helpline. CHREAA paralegals each have a cell phone connected to the helpline to ensure a 24/7 service which will provide immediate legal help and counselling to sex workers when they suffer abuse by the police. In addition, CHREAA paralegals will assist sex workers to report police abuse to magistrates’ courts in liaison with senior police officers who will assist with the prosecution of perpetrators. Reacting to the news of the funding, CRHEAA executive director Victor Mhango said they are excited to be undertaking the project and will ensure that the goals of the donor are achieved. “We are well aware of the fact that we have been granted this funding because of the faith that AusAID have in us and we will ensure that we will excel in undertaking this project,” he said. “This is a human rights issue, a field in which we excel and which is dear to us. We are thus glad that we have partners such as the Australian government who understand that enhancing human rights is central to the Australian aid program’s strategic goal of effective governance,” Mhango said.