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Atlantic Grantees Working for Human Rights

Resource type: News

International Human Rights Day on 10 December marks the 63rd year of global recognition of our basic human equality and the continuous struggle to gain basic human rights for all individuals. Reconciliation & Human Rights made up the largest portion of Atlantic’s 2010 grantmaking programmes — funding efforts to advocate and reform human rights policies, legislation and cultural attitudes in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa and the United States.

The following grantees have been strong leaders and advocates for human rights this past year, and we recognise them by highlighting their work.

Collage of young people of all races

Immigrant and Migrant Rights

The Forum on Migration and Communication (FOMACS) records the experience of immigrant communities and works to engage the younger immigrant Irish generation through its “Youth Media” projects, including “Belonging,” which recorded young peoples’ thoughts on growing up in contemporary Ireland. As one “Belonging” participant said about youth in Ireland today, “We have a voice but we haven’t been given the microphone.” Image courtesy of FOMACS.

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Protecting Immigrant Families

There are an estimated 13 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The Applied Research Center’s new report Shattered Families is the first comprehensive national analysis of the intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system, which is resulting in the separation of thousands of families across the country.

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Woman working in crops

Fighting Anti-Immigrant Legislation

The social justice and policy think-tank, Center for American Progress, has increasingly spoken out against the state of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant legislation (H.B. 56), a new law that threatens the civil rights of all Americans — documented or undocumented. After its passage, the majority of migrant workers fled Alabama, stimulating another round of economic woes for the state’s already struggling economy. Photo courtesy of Center for American Progress. Kassi Cruz picks tomatoes in Steele, Alabama, on 3 October 2011.  

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Young South African girl at Equal Education march

Equal Education For All

Equal Education galvanised the community to pressure the South African government to adopt a minimum norms and standards policy, which would require a basic level of infrastructure for all schools and hold the government accountable for substandard conditions. Photo courtesy of Equal Education. In March 2011, Equal Education members marched along with 15,000 people in Cape Town, protesting the severe lack of libraries and resources for township schools.

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Marchers carrying GLEN banner

Gay Rights as Human Rights

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) in the Republic of Ireland has been instrumental in successfully reforming legislation in favour of LGBT rights, including the passing of Equal Status in 2000 and comprehensive Civil Partnership in 2010. Recently, GLEN also successfully won the bid to host the 2012 International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) annual conference in Dublin. Photo courtesy of GLEN.

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Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment

The Treatment Action Campaign has fought for 13 years to ensure that every person with HIV has access to quality comprehensive prevention and treatment services. Their accomplishments include debunking the South African government’s AIDS denialism, representing workers who were fired because of their HIV/AIDS status and supporting multiple national AIDS and tuberculosis initiatives.

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Disability Action members outside of Parliament

Disability Rights as Human Rights

Disability Action’s Centre on Human Rights for People with Disabilities seeks to recognise and protect the rights of the disabled in Northern Ireland where one in five people live with a disability. In the Republic of Ireland, GENIO Trust stimulates disability and mental health solutions by supporting over 72 innovative projects in 2011. Photo: Disability Action members visit the Legislative Assembly.

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Children in shared education programme

Creating a Lasting Peace

The Fermanagh Trust, a community foundation in Northern Ireland, seeks to facilitate lasting peace by strengthening the bonds of local communities. One of its initiatives, the Shared Education Programme, links local primary schools through shared curriculum to aid reconciliation and create more cohesive, sustainable neighbourhoods that have a long history of religious polarisation and conflict. Photo from The Fermanagh Trust’s Shared Education Programme video.

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Activists protest Troy Davis' execution

Abolishing the Death Penalty

The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty and Amnesty International were leaders in the protests against the execution of death row inmate Troy Davis this year. Davis, who was convicted of murdering an off-duty Georgia police officer 22 years ago, became an international symbol for abolishing the U.S. death penalty in the final weeks of his life. Photo: Advocates show their support for Troy Davis. Courtesy of Scott Langley, Death Penalty Photography Documentary Project

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