#MakeRightsReal – towards an independent human rights funding agenda for Scotland

By 17th March 2021 News

The past year has illuminated, and worsened, inequality and discrimination in Scotland. However, the pandemic has also re-affirmed a commitment – from government and others – to the idea of building a fairer society.

This, alongside significant developments in human rights, offers a crucial moment in time with an opportunity to reshape and rebuild differently. Civil society organisations are responding to this. They are increasingly looking to human rights-based approaches as a means to shift power, challenge structures and bring about lasting change.

This has been the context for work throughout 2020, with Corra, Making Rights Real and Human Rights Consortium Scotland have been creating space for conversations around the role of independent funding in strengthening human rights in Scotland. This new report captures insights and themes gathered from these conversations, including from podcasts, round tables and an event held in November 2020.

Fiona Duncan, CEO of Corra Foundation said:

“This report marks an exciting step for funders as we continue to develop our understanding and consider what human rights-based approaches could mean. It asks independent funders to reflect on their role and responsibility, and move towards taking action that will help shape a Scotland in which aspirations around rights are reflected in people’s daily lives.”

Clare Macgillivray, Making Rights Real welcomed the report:

This is an incredible moment for human rights, Scotland is making ground-breaking strides to protect, fulfil and realise the rights that will challenge the inequality exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. It is fantastic to see funders keen to understand their role on this journey to making rights real for all.”

Mhairi Snowden, Human Rights Consortium Scotland added:

The human rights landscape in Scotland is progressive and bold, just as the discussions with funders have been over the past year. Human rights present an opportunity for real change, and it’s exciting to see funders engaged and ready to play their part.”

Next steps suggested by the report include:

  • Early discussion between experts in the human rights sector, with Scottish funders around developing ways for funders to increase their own understanding of a human rights-based approach.
  • Interested funders and human rights organisations to come together to explore what a Scottish Human Rights Fund could and should look like.
  • Funders to consider how they can increase investment in grassroots, community-based organisations that are using human rights for change.
  • Funders, particularly UK-wide, to consider how they can facilitate collaboration, learning and support between organisations across different parts of the UK.

The report is being published soon after the Scottish Government announced plans to introduce world leading human rights legislation, supported by the ambitious recommendations of the National Taskforce on Human Rights Leadership, and the day after the Scottish Parliament passed legislation incorporating the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) into Scottish law.

This report is not the end of the conversation. It invites independent funders to continue to think, and talk together, but also to identify actions they can take as part of the collective effort to make rights real for every person and community in Scotland.

Read the full report here: https://www.corra.scot/news/rightsreal


For further information please contact Shelley Gray (Head of External Relations, Corra Foundation) at shelley@corra.scot

Notes to editors:

  1. Making Rights Real was founded in 2020 as a grassroots organisation to support marginalised people use the power of human rights to make economic and social change for their communities.
  2. Human Rights Consortium Scotland is the Scottish civil society network to protect and promote human rights. With over 100 members from across civil society, we work towards two aims: to enable a strong collective civil society voice to defend human rights, and to facilitate civil society to have all of the resources that it needs to protect human rights through its work.
  3. Corra Foundation exists to make a difference to the lives of people and communities. It works with others to encourage positive change, opportunity, fairness and growth of aspirations which improve quality of life. Corra wants to see a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives.
  4. The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.corra.scot/news/rightsreal


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