Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders.
Ariadne News & Events
REGISTER: ARIADNE TELE-BRIEFING: What is Happening in Greece and How Can Funders Intervene Usefully? Ariadne invites you, at short notice, to join a funders’ tele-briefing this Friday July 10th at 16:15 CEST, 15:15 BST, 10:15 EST to discuss the crisis in Greece with Sotiris Lagonopoulos, Director of the Bodossaki Foundation, and Programme Director EEA Grants, NGO Programme for Greece, and Xenia Papastavrou, founder of a Greek food recycling NGO called Boroume, which works all over the country in collaboration with many NGOs and local institutions. Get the latest information and discuss the most appropriate strategies for funders in the current crisis. To take part please e-mail email@example.com
LAST CHANCE: ARIADNE TELE-BRIEFING ON PROMOTING CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN THE MEDIA: How successfully is the media responding to the challenges of cultural diversity in countries such as France, Belgium and Britain? What are the best practices? What roles are played by funders and which projects work in this context? Compared with their British counterparts, the media in France have been slow to embrace the nation’s cultural diversity, though this is changing. This tele-briefing is aimed at exploring the challenges of media representations of cultural diversity. It will provide insight for funders on some current initiatives and explore the strategic role of funders. Please note the event will be held in French. 9th of July, 12:00- 13:00 CEST (11:00 – 12:00 BST). To take part please email firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTER: ARIADNE UK GRANT SKILLS-DAY: Ariadne will hold its 2015 Grant-Skills Day and Networking Dinner on September 23rd. This year, the Grant-Skills Day will focus on the Digital Dividend for Social Change and Human Rights Funders with the aim of developing the confidence and competence of funders to engage with digital technologies safely and effectively. The day will be a mixture of plenary and workshops and will be followed by the annual Ariadne UK Networking Dinner. All grant-makers, where-ever they are based, are welcome to attend both the Day and the Dinner, where they will be able to meet new grant-makers and to make contact with old friends. We invite all Ariadne participants to register for both events.
SAVE THE DATE: HOW FRAMING CAN HELP REGAIN PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Public opinion on human rights is often driven by the narrative of its opponents. This undermines established standards and hinders the promotion and protection of fundamental rights. Advocates for human rights must consider new strategies to communicate their message, not only to help influence how people think but crucially to influence how they feel about human rights. Ariadne invites you to a learning workshop in London on this topic, where funders will learn about ‘framing’, an innovative approach to communications that has seen real success in changing public understanding of social issues. 7th October 2015.
New Research, Articles and Judgements
Defeating AIDS – advancing global health: The British medical journal The Lancet has published a special issue: Defeating AIDS – advancing global health. According to Human Rights Watch, ‘the authors state that “human rights have been a driver” of the achievements of the AIDS response to date, and that to make future gains we need to “forge new paths to uphold human rights”…“Some countries have chosen to let sex workers, transgender people, and injecting drug users die of AIDS rather than change the laws and policies affecting them.”’ Read more and find the full report here.
“What human rights?” Why some companies speak out while others don’t: Mauricio Lazala and Joe Bardwell from the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre ask whether companies who speak out for human rights when it relates directly to their operations, might be willing to take a stand on broader human rights issues, including civic space, in an article for online journal OpenDemocracy. They state that a ‘business case’ to support tolerant and open civic spaces is not too difficult to make; “businesses clearly benefit when the rules of the game are clear, consumers are empowered, employees are respected, and the judicial system works well… “. The writers go further and say that speaking out for human rights could even help companies; firms in the US, for example, are discovering that taking an enlightened public stance on social justice issues hasn’t hurt their bottom line and makes business sense, as it helps attract and retain new customers and the best staff. As they point out, a few brave companies are helping to create and expand ‘enabling environments’ for human rights, and perhaps they can set a new trend for companies speaking out to protect civic space.
Fortress Hungary: The Economist has reported that in late June Hungary suspended its adherence to the Dublin regulation, which says that asylum-seekers’ claims must be processed in the first country they reach. On July 6th the Hungarian parliament then passed tough new laws that allow migrants to be detained while their claims are being processed, and also approved plans to erect a four-metre-high fence on the border with Serbia. News source Reuters has stated that “The move will inevitably evoke memories of the Cold War-era barriers – including the Berlin Wall – that separated communist eastern Europe, including Hungary, from the capitalist west. Migration experts warn it also risks creating a dangerous logjam in Serbia, an impoverished ex-Yugoslav republic woefully ill-equipped to deal with the influx”.
International responsibility for the Greek social rights crisis: Dr Margot E Salomon and Professor Olivier De Schutter have prepared a legal brief, at the invitation of the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, to inform the work of the Special Committee of the Hellenic Parliament on the Audit of the Greek Debt (Debt Truth Committee). The brief systematically considers the international responsibility of the various creditors involved in the Greek social rights crisis. It addresses key legal issues raised by the Memoranda of Understanding concluded by Greece in 2010 and 2012, that made the conditions for access to loans contingent upon the implementation of a range of measures aimed at fiscal consolidation. The economic arrangements that brought to bear the human catastrophe involved States, international organizations and other actors functioning in various formations. This legal brief unpacks the actors and vehicles through which the conditionalities were imposed with the aim of determining legal responsibility in the area of human rights for the harms that have come to pass.
2015 Global Peace Index: The 2015 Global Peace Index has been published, and it reveals an increasingly divided world. Many countries are achieving historic levels of peace, while strife-torn nations continue to degrade into violence. Despite global peace levels remaining stable over the last year, the world is less peaceful today than it was in 2008. There has been a significant increase in global terrorism, with the number of people killed in attacks reaching an estimated 20,000 in 2014. The data also indicates an escalation in the intensity of armed conflict, with figures of armed conflict-related casulaties nearly quadrupling from 2010 to 2014. Explore the report and interactive map here.
The Special Rapporteur’s Study on Protection of Roma: The Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of anti-Gypsyism, was presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur at its 29th Session, on 15th June 2015. The report provides an overview of the human rights situation of Roma worldwide, applying a minority rights-based approach to the protection and promotion of the rights of Roma, including the protection of their existence; the prevention of violence against Roma; the protection and promotion of Roma identity; and the guarantee of the rights to non-discrimination and equality, including combating racism, anti-Gypsyism and structural discrimination.
Blogs and Other Sites of Interest
VIDEO: Freedom to Marry: Freedom to Marry (the US campaign to win marriage nationwide) launched a national TV advertisement in the US celebrating the end of marriage discrimination across the nation following the United States Supreme Court’s decision. This video touches on the values that Freedom to Marry focused on in its campaign for equal marriage, a campaign which the Director Evan Wolfson has written about for Reuters. He highlights how the campaign achieved broad social consensus by framing its arguments in a way that connected to people’s values, focusing on what the right message was, and who the right messengers were. Whilst the Supreme Court decision has been widely celebrated, Michael Heflin wrote for the Open Society Foundations to point out that despite this success, the global struggle for equality and LGBTI rights continues.
Satirical human rights radio programme wins international award: The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’s weekly radio show, Five in the Afternoon, won a Silver Medal at the New York Festival International Radio Program Awards on June 22nd, 2015. “Five in the Afternoon shows that the call for human rights can be delivered with wit, intelligence, and joie de vivre,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Campaign, “and when it is, it reaches millions.” The Persian-language show covers the week’s human rights news and issues; and its mission is to provide an alternative voice on human rights that can challenge the state-controlled media in Iran and expose the government’s widespread rights abuses.
50 Human Rights Cases That Transformed Britain: RightsInfo has published #50cases, a series on the top 50 rights cases that have transformed Britain, contributed to by legal academics, writers and human rights experts through crowdsourcing. Along with an infographic, each of the 50 landmark cases has also been translated into a plain-English bite-size story. Director of RightsInfo, Adam Wagner, highlighted that “As the government seeks to reform human rights laws, it is crucial for people to understand what effect human rights have had on our society. This project shows that the European Convention on Human Rights and Human Rights Act have had a profound impact on British society. The #50cases project shows that human rights are not just for terrorists and criminals, but affect all of us”.
PODCAST: European Council on Foreign Relation’s World in 30 Minutes: Greek Referendum: ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks to Loukas Tsoukalis, Professor of Economics and head of the Greek think tank ELIAMEP, and Sebastian Dullien, ECFR’s senior policy fellow and Professor of International Economics at HTW Berlin, about the Greek referendum, what it means and its possible implications. Listen to the podcast here.
Graphic novel ‘La Lucha’ celebrates Mexican human rights defenders: La Lucha is a graphic novel that describes the terrifying and inspiring work of Castro, a human rights attorney, in the incredibly violent Mexican border community of Juarez. This video describes the story, whilst this podcast features an interview with Adam Shapiro, a human rights activist with the Irish organisation Front Line Defenders, concerning the book, and more generally the increasing ‘criminalising’ of human rights work (his interview starts at 8 minutes and 40 seconds into the podcast).
Divest Invest Philanthropy Pledge: More than 100 philanthropic trusts, foundations and family offices, with over $5 billion in assets under management, have signed the Divest Invest Philanthropy pledge, committing to divest themselves of fossil fuels and invest in the low carbon economy. Prominent European trusts and foundations are joining existing signatories such as the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund. Divest Invest Philanthropy will continue to increase the number of signatories in the lead up to the pivotal UN Climate Negotiations to be held in December in Paris. Read more here.
Launch of International Grants Operations Working Group: A new donor working group is being developed by the International Human Rights Funders Group and Ariadne, and will bring together grants management and operations staff, as well as other interested grantmakers, to develop solutions to emerging challenges in international grantmaking. The new working group aims to complement the work of the Donor Working Group on Cross Border Philanthropy by focusing on the operational grantmaking challenges arising due to increasing restrictions on civil society and foreign funding. We encourage you to share this announcement with your peers dealing with these challenges, particularly operations staff and those who may not have been involved in these conversations to date. The working group will hold its first meeting at IHRFG’s New York City Conference on Wednesday 15 July from 12:45-13:45 (US eastern time).
Index of Philanthropic Freedom 2015: The Index of Philanthropic Freedom 2015 is the first analysis of philanthropic freedom across the world. By examining barriers and incentives for individuals and organizations to donate money and time to social causes, Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (CGP) has measured, ranked, and compared countries on their ease of giving. The research aims to identify the public policy actions to encourage private giving which, in turn, can increase generosity. The new Index provides a detailed analysis of the legal barriers and incentives to philanthropy in both developed and developing countries. Local experts from 64 countries participated in the study, which includes country-specific reports, trends, and policy recommendations. Results of the Index are also available as an interactive map graphic.
Grantmaking with a Gender Lens: The European Foundation Center’s thematic network on gender equality has published its first collaborative work, entitled “Grantmaking with a gender lens”. The publication looks at a number of foundation programmes – criminal justice, climate change, migration, labour rights, workers’ health and disability – and shows how including a gender lens leads to more equitable, impactful and sustainable outcomes. It also tackles a persistent myth about gender and how it supposedly refers only to women’s issues. A foundation’s work is about people, therefore it must consider how gender norms affect women and girls; as well as men and boys; and people who identify differently. The publication states that foundations cannot fully reach their intended impact if they fail to recognise these differences.
Emergency Response Grants & Resources for Human Rights Defenders: The International Human Rights Funders Group’s (IHRFG) Human Rights Defenders Working Group has compiled directories of emergency response grants and rest and respite resources, in the hope that these might be useful for activists in emergency situations and for funders unable to provide rapid response grants. They encourage funders to share these resources with their grantees and colleagues.
Jobs and Tenders
Paul Hamlyn Foundation – Multiple Roles: The Paul Hamlyn Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation with a mission to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. This in an exciting time to join the Foundation as they have launched a new strategy, with an increased grants budget to manage. They are recruiting for 2 Grants Assistant roles, 4 Senior Grants Manager roles, a Communications Officer role, and a Communications and Policy Assistant role. For more information about the roles and how to apply see here.
Program Officer – Open Society Initiative for Europe: OSIFE is recruiting for a program officer to be part of the Think Tank Fund for Europe team, and to work on the implementation of activity portfolios dealing with political and policy debates in selected European capitals. The main work will focus around grantmaking to research institutions and civil society organisations, building political constituencies and alliances, and policy advocacy in selected countries of Europe. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years working in the field of policy debates within and about the Eureopan Union and its member states, have expert knowledge of politics of Europe and the policitcal systems of some EU member states, and be up to date in debates about democratic regeneration in some European countries. Closing date for applications: 16th of July. Location: Barcelona or Budapest. For more information about the roles and how to apply see here.
CMI! Programme Coordinator – Mama Cash: Mama Cash leads the Count Me In! Consortium, an alliance of women’s rights funds and organisations including the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), CREA, Just Associates (JASS), and the three Urgent Actions Funds in coopeartion with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (MFA). Collaborating in a 5 year programme (2016-2020) the Consortium aims to contribute to a safe and inclusive enabling environment for women’s rights organisations, movements and women human rights defenders. The Programme Coordinator must have a strong commitment to women’s rights and social justice, a strong working knowledge of international development and women’s humans rights, and a minimum of five years working in the area of project management. Closing date for applications: 19th July 2015. Location: Amsterdam. See more here.
Program Officer for North Africa – The Fund for Global Human Rights: The Fund for Global Human Rights is seeking a highly qualified applicant for the position of Program Officer for North Africa. Within North Africa, the Fund’s most developed grantmaking programs are currently in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Preference will be given to candidates who are based in North Africa, London, or the Washington, DC area, and fluency in English and Arabic or French is required, with all three preferred. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with an anticipated start date of September 2015. See more here.
Grants Program Officer – Arab Human Rights Fund: The Arab Human Rights Fund seeks a Program Officer with experience in supporting human rights work in the Arab region to join the Fund’s grantmaking program. The ideal candidate would work full-time with the Fund at its headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Candidates must have three years of experience in grantmaking and/or related fields, and civil society knowledge and experience in the Arab region, as well as native Arabic and excellent English skills. French is an asset. Closing date for applications: until filled. See more here.
Program Officer – Open Society Foundations Program on Independent Journalism: The OSF Program on Independent Journalism seeks a program officer to manage its new ‘Opening Journalism’ team, which supports journalistic initiatives and organisations to solve problems, reach specific medium-term goals, reach out to audiences through mobile and/or video, develop interactive/animated stories, or experiment with ideas that seek to maximize the role of journalism to better inform citizens about the problems that affect their lives in a fundamental way. Candidates must have a proven mastery of the field of journalism through direct professional experience as an editor of print or electronic media, or as an editor of journalistic experiences in the virtual space. Location: London. Closing date for applications: July 27th 2015. See more here.
November 2nd – November 7th
Europe’s Strategic Choices – Building Prosperity and Security: Europe is operating in an increasingly complex environment and faces difficult challenges in the areas of economic competitiveness, energy investment and security policy. These challenges make this an important moment to reinvigorate the debate about Europe’s place in the world, and its ability to protect its interests and enhance its prosperity. Launched by Chatham House in 2014, this annual European strategic dialogue will explore these issues by bringing together senior politicians, business leaders and academics to discuss how European countries can respond individually and collectively to global challenges, exploring developments between Europe and its neighbours through three themes: security, prosperity and energy. Held in association with demos Europa, Centre for European Strategy and the Institute for Security Policy, University Kiel. 5th – 7th November 2015. Location: Ritz Carlton, Berlin. See more here.
November 9th – November 13th
EuroPhilantopics 2015 – Trust Matters – A lever to deliver better social justice outcomes: EuroPhilantopics is a dialogue between philanthropy actors and EU policy makers which aims to make clearer the potential synergies and collaborations between EU institutions and philanthropy. Through a series of conversations, EuroPhilantopics 2015 aims to get to new ways of public service design and delivery which are authored jointly by policymakers and the communities they are intended to benefit, as well as provide a platform to learn and exchange practice, and showcase concrete examples, approaches and learning from foundations. 10th of November 2015. Location: Bozar, Brussels. See more here.
November 17th – November 18th
Save the date: European Environmental Funders Group 5th Annual meeting: The 5th annual meeting of this network will bring funders together with diverse stakeholders (NGOs, policy-makers, think-tanks, business, and others) to discuss systemic issues affecting the environmental agenda. This is an opportunity for networking, intelligence sharing, and strategic reflection on funding opportunities and start-ups. The event will take place on the 17th – 18th of November, in Brussels. More details will follow soon here.
September 28th – October 2nd
Grantmakers East Forum 2015: This year is the 20th anniversary of the Grantmakers East Forum, and their annual meeting is due to take place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October. The title for the event is ‘Creating equal opportunities: Overcoming divides’. Sessions will focus on youth employment; social entrepreneurship; gender-sensitive grantmaking; fair access to resources, freedom of expression; and social fabric in contested territories. Two workshops will also provide ideas and solutions to achieve successful storytelling and to assess impact of initiatives. Early bird registration is now open.
July 20th – July 24th
Summit meeting to discuss how the film The Divide can be used to campaign: You may remember that The Divide (then ‘The Spirit Level’) was the subject of the first Ariadne Winter Film Night. The film has now been released, and the makers are holding a summit to bring together organisations with an interest in fighting inequality, who would be interested in using the film in their work. They are looking for partners who can help get the message out widely, help promote screenings, hold their own screenings or who would like to feed into the campaigning side of their outreach. 21st July Tuesday at 12:00 (BST). Location: Somerset House. RSVP to Katharine Round.
Lighting the Home Fires: Fresh perspectives on human rights in the UK: Plans to scrap the Human Rights Act place Britain on the cusp of a major political transformation: both its internal political landscape as well as its role and image in the world stand to be profoundly reshaped by such a change, and there is a feeling that the UK is sliding inexorably into a position in which it will be excluded from the institutions and frameworks that support human rights both in Europe and throughout the world. Yet the blurring of the lines between Europe, immigration and human rights have made discussion of the HRA polarised and unproductive. To open up a new, fresh conversation, think tank Counterpoint is bringing together a host of diverse speakers and practitioners to help us all re-engage with aspects of human rights that are at the heart of everyday life. September 8th 2015, 9:30 – 16:30. Location: Free Word Centre, London. Register here.
October 19th – October 23rd
Environmental Funders Network Autumn Lunch with Dr. Jules Pretty: EFN’s Autumn Lunch will feature a talk from Dr. Jules Pretty, author of The Edge of Extinction, about the connections between nature and human health and well-being. Jules has written and edited several books on the braiding of nature and people, exploring the importance of place and the land for identity and health of individuals and cultures. His research focuses on agricultural sustainability, nature and health and consumption patterns and well-being. 12.00-14.15, 22 October 2015, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 50 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB. Register with Florence Miller.
October 12th – October 16th
United Nations at 70: International Law and the Achievement of UN Aims: To coincide with the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, this event, hosted by the UN Office of Legal Affairs and Chatham House, will reflect on its achievements over the past seven decades. Is the current international legal framework capable of fulfilling the aims articulated in the opening of the UN Charter? Has the attempt to subject the use of force by states to the rule of law failed? To what extent have international human rights laws and institutions succeeded in achieving the UN vision of a world in which human rights are realised? What has been the contribution to justice and respect for international law of the International Court of Justice and other courts and institutions set up under the UN system? The conference will bring together academic experts and legal practitioners with representatives of governments, international organizations and NGOs. 16th October 2015, 09:45 – 17:00. Location: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. See more here.
July 13th – July 17th
IHRFG’s 2015 New York Conference and Pre-Conference Institute: The International Human Rights Funders Group annual New York institute and conference will take place this year from the 13th – 15th of July, at New York University’s School of Law, hosted by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘The Rights-Based Approach: The Right Approach?‘. The pre-conference institute, ‘Detoxifying the Brand: How Framing Can Help Regain Public Support for Human Rights‘, will explore tools and strategies for communicating human rights to build a broader global constituency for human rights around the world.
November 9th – November 13th
Save the date: 2015 European Pro Bono Forum: The European Pro Bono Forum provides an international perspective on pro bono practice in Europe. By bringing together a growing and influential community of lawyers, individuals from the NGO sector, law professors and students that recognise the urgency of developing pro bono work, PILnet’s European Pro Bono Forum offers a setting where participants can explore how they can best collaborate to address critical social issues. 11th – 13th November 2015. Location: NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto, Rome. More details here.
July 29th – August 27th
Extraordinary Outdoor Films 2015: Humanity House will be showing a series of films this summer, under the over-arching theme of ‘War & Peace’. Films include ‘No man’s Land’ which focuses on Bosnia and Serbia, the Oscar nominated animation ‘Waltz with Bashir’ set during the first Lebanon War of the early 1980s, ‘Turtles Can Fly’ which takes place in the days leading up to the second US war with Iraq, ‘La Vita e Bella’ which centres on the Holocaust, and ‘Lord of War’ which is set just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. For further information and film times see here.
Ariadne is supported by Adessium Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennstrom Philanthropies.
Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.