Progressive, Proportionate and Preventative

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(j) the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation

Published: 20/08/2015
Updated: 20/08/2015

Summary

This purpose covers supporting the victims of human rights abuse, raising awareness of human rights, and securing the enforcement of human rights law. It also includes the resolution of conflicts on a local, national or international level and the promotion of restorative justice and mediation or reconciliation between individuals, organisations, authorities or groups.

What do we mean by advancing human rights?

Human rights are rights which:

  • are fundamental to what it is to be human
  • involve matters of right and wrong
  • apply to all
  • set out the ways in which the State must or must not act towards people, or allow others to do so.

Human rights are a broad and constantly evolving concept. They apply to the core civil, political, economic and social rights contained in the widely recognised statements of human rights, including:

  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations
  • the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • the European Convention on Human Rights
  • the Human Rights Act 1998. 

Where an organisation is set up to advance the rights described in any of the above, it is likely that its purposes will be charitable.

Where the rights being advanced are not those described in any of the above, we need to see and consider evidence as to how and why they are considered human rights.

What activities might provide public benefit when advancing this purpose?

In general, public benefit is the way that a charity makes a positive difference to the public. Activities might include:

  • relieving the need of victims of human rights abuses
  • raising awareness of and support for human rights
  • securing the enforcement of human rights law.

These activities may provide public benefit in any part of the world.

What do we mean by advancing conflict resolution or reconciliation?

This includes the resolution of conflicts on a national or international scale and relieving the suffering, poverty and distress arising from such conflicts. It also covers identifying the causes of the conflict and seeking to resolve such conflict, the promotion of restorative justice and reconciliation between those involved in conflict situations.

Advancing conflict resolution or reconciliation includes activities aimed at resolving or preventing conflict and disputes between individuals, families, organisations or groups.

What activities might provide public benefit when advancing this purpose? 

In general, public benefit is the way that a charity makes a positive difference to the public. Activities might include:

  • the promotion of restorative justice (where all of the parties with a stake in a particular conflict or offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with its aftermath and its implications for the future)
  • undertaking research to identify causes of national or international conflicts and possible solutions to those conflicts
  • relationship counselling or mediation

Case 1: an organisation demonstrated that its mediation services advanced conflict resolution and reconciliation 

Summary:
An organisation applied to us to set up a charity providing mediation services to minority ethnic communities in Scotland.

Considerations:
We had to decide if the mediation services in family conflict, community disputes, and workplace issues would advance conflict resolution and reconciliation. The organisation provided us with detailed information about the mediation process and the techniques used. 

Outcome:
We were satisfied that the mediation services were structured and would advance conflict resolution and reconciliation. The application to become a charity was successful.

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