Strengthening the Human Rights Sector

A large letter H in two different shades of purple

Amnesty International UK and the Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS) are pleased to announce that HRCS is now an independent human rights organisation.

Previously, Amnesty International incubated the Consortium, providing infrastructure, growing our capacity and supporting fundraising. With a growing membership and an experienced Board in place, we are now an independently funded organisation ready to support Scotland’s civil society sector to protect and promote human rights. We will continue to provide capacity-building and training for civil society organisations on human rights issues, and will continue to participate in policy-making and influencing.

The establishment of the Consortium is one more sign of the growing recognition of the importance of human rights across Scottish civil society; COVID-19, Brexit and the continuing negative impacts of austerity have only heightened the sense of urgency for widespread support for human rights.  More organisations than ever are using human rights law and standards as a tool to challenge those in power and to advocate for the rights of people across Scotland to be respected. We are keen to build on our existing work in this area.

Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s Scotland Programme Director, said:

“As we navigate an increasingly uncertain future, we must ensure our human rights are protected and respected across Scotland. It has been a privilege to watch the HRCS grow both in membership and influence, and we are certain it will continue to thrive as a sustainable, independent organisation representing Scotland’s civil society. We remain committed to supporting the work of HRCS in the journey towards a truly rights respecting country.”

Mhairi Snowden, Coordinator of the HRCS said:

“We are delighted that the Consortium has taken this next step in its journey, and will be able to do even more to enable civil society to speak up for human rights.  We would like to thank Amnesty International for their amazing support that has made this possible.

The human rights sector in Scotland is going from strength to strength. There will be many challenges ahead, not least how we make sure that COVID-19 recovery secures, and does not diminish, human rights. Too many people in Scotland are denied their human rights everyday. It is vital that civil society works together to put human rights at the heart of who Scotland is and how we treat people, and HRCS is now well placed to help civil society to do so.”

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