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Human Rights & Reconciliation Protecting Rights & Promoting Reconciliation

Building a Society That Protects All

Northern Ireland | 1991 - 2014

When Atlantic began its grantmaking Northern Ireland in 1991, the violence known as the Troubles had been going on for more than two decades. Because of the conflict, Atlantic’s first grants were limited in scope and focused on promoting dialogue aimed at broadening political debate in deeply divided society.

Beginning in 1995, after most paramilitary organizations had made initial ceasefire declarations, the foundation stepped up its efforts and concentrated its grantmaking to help Northern Ireland move toward becoming a more reconciled society that protects human rights and promotes equality.

Watch: Atlantic’s Northern Ireland grantees have worked to help build a sustainable and just peace, reconcile deeply divided communities and challenge segregation in primary and secondary education.

What We Learned From This Work

  1. Key to effective peace-building and reconciliation is supporting progressive forces at the grassroots level, including those closest to the conflict.

  2. Communities most harmed by conflict also suffer from inequalities that need to be addressed in order to move toward peace.

  3. To reduce the chance of violence in the future, mechanisms and structures need to be put in place to protect human rights, address inequalities and promote reconciliation.

The Way Forward

Atlantic's work focused on promoting reconciliation, stability and protection of human rights.

Building the Peace

Working with organizations such as Intercomm and Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group, Atlantic directed $30m toward promoting reconciliation among the disaffected groups most deeply involved in conflict.

Keeping Human Rights in Focus

Atlantic provided core support to groups such as Committee on the Administration of Justice and Participation and the Practice of Rights to ensure government can better fulfill the human rights commitments specified in the Good Friday agreement.

Breaking Down Divisions Early

To help break down divisions within Northern Ireland’s education system, Atlantic supported the Integrated Education Fund and initiatives to promote shared education as well as a joint initiative with the Northern Ireland executive.

Summaries of Case Studies, Evaluations & Reports

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