New Independent Human Rights Fund for Scotland

Published: April 5, 2024


A new fund has been established to support the realization and protection of rights, as well as addressing issues impacting people’s daily lives. The focus of this Fund will be on those individuals whose rights are particularly vulnerable. Its aim is to empower people to utilise human rights as a catalyst for positive change.

The Fund has garnered support from a consortium consisting of AB Charitable Trust, The Baring Foundation, The Binks Trust, Cattanach, Corra Foundation, The Robertson Trust, and William Grant Foundation. The Corra Foundation serves as the host for this initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the funding consortium, Carolyn Sawers, CEO of Corra, emphasised the critical importance of this initiative amidst the current human rights landscape in Scotland. She highlighted that individuals encounter rights-related challenges daily, spanning areas such as poverty, housing, education, health, racism, and disability. While individuals possess the ability to hold power to account, support from third sector and community groups is often necessary to facilitate this process.

In Scotland, recent legislative actions by the Parliament have sought to bolster rights protections, with potential extensions to additional UN treaties under consideration. Through support for civil society, the Independent Human Rights Fund for Scotland aspires to translate these legal advancements into tangible improvements for individuals and communities.

In its initial phase, the Fund has awarded three grants aimed at diverse approaches to advancing social change and fostering justice in Scotland. These grants include:

  • Starcatchers (£50,000 project funding over two years): Supporting the rights of infants and young children through community engagement, productions, early years development, and advocacy.
  • Making Rights Real (£75,000 core funding over three years): Empowering marginalized communities to leverage human rights for economic and social change, with a focus on enhancing human rights awareness and influencing policy.
  • Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland (£75,000 core funding over three years): Working towards environmental rights fulfillment and protection through various strategies including advocacy, legal representation, and policy reform.

Looking ahead, the Fund will soon be open to further applications, with decision-making guided by individuals possessing diverse expertise in human rights.

For additional information, please visit the Independent Human Rights Fund page or subscribe to Corra’s funding bulletin for updates.

For media inquiries, please contact

Notes to editors:

(1) The Independent Human Rights Fund for Scotland aims to bridge the gap between policy and practice, empower individuals and communities to assert their rights, and foster a robust human rights sector in Scotland. It operates independently of the government and welcomes applications from non-statutory organizations in Scotland.

(2) Human rights, as defined by the United Nations, are inherent to all individuals regardless of their background or status. They encompass a broad range of rights including the right to life, freedom from discrimination, and the right to education.

(3) Corra Foundation is a Scottish grant-making charity dedicated to amplifying people’s voices and catalyzing change. Its ten-year strategy, launched in 2020, is built on the belief that empowered individuals can drive meaningful change in society.

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