Launch of £10m Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy

The Foreign Office has announced that the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy 2016/17 has doubled to £10.6million – its highest ever level.

The Magna Carta Fund (known last year as the Human Rights and Democracy Programme) is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s strategic programme dedicated to the UK’s global human rights and democracy work.

Through targeted projects overseas it supports the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It aims to further British interests by supporting high-impact projects which promote institution-building, target universal issues and the underlying causes of human rights problems.

The increased size of the fund reflects the Government’s strong commitment to human rights and will enable the FCO to achieve greater impact across its three core human rights themes:

  • Democratic Values and the Rule of Law
  • Strengthening the Rules-Based International Order
  • Human Rights for a Stable World

These allow British Embassies and High Commissions around the world the flexibility to address the issues that matter most in the local context and to respond to developments.

Welcoming the increase in funding for the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

This fund is an important tool for our diplomacy; helping to prevent conflict, strengthening the rule-based international system, and promoting human rights, good governance and the rule of law.

Its impact in a wide variety of countries and contexts supports our case that human rights are in the interest of all. Doubling our spending in this area is a clear demonstration of this Government’s strong commitment to human rights.

Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay said:

This programme has a proven track record of delivering real change. It has the potential to be transformational and I am immensely proud that the funding available to support important human rights projects is more than ever before.

By delivering these projects we can show that, without a doubt, human rights work offers solutions to many of the world’s worst crises, and can be fundamental to preventing them.

Since 2011 our human rights programme has funded over 300 projects in more than sixty countries worldwide to a value in excess of £20 million. The significant financial uplift to this fund will empower the FCO’s global network to work with project implementers to deliver more projects of greater ambition, changing lives and making a real difference.

Over the course of this Parliament the programme aims to amass evidence that human rights provide practical solutions to a wide variety of real-world problems, and are integral to the security and prosperity of all.

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