On 18 January, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) launched a bidding round for the 2016-17 Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy (MCFHRD), doubling (to £10.6 million) a fund known last year as the Human Rights and Democracy Programme (HRDP).
The Magna Carta Fund is the FCO’s strategic programme dedicated to human rights and democracy work. It aims to further British interests overseas by supporting high-impact projects which promote institution-building, and target systemic 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 focus on strategic interventions which prevent their violation. It will play an important role in helping to meet objectives set out in the 2015 strategic defence and security review, to prevent conflict, strengthen the rule-based international system and promote human rights, good governance and the rule of law.
The programme has been reconfigured around manifesto commitments and three broad themes, which exploit the mutually reinforcing nature of human rights and effective institutions. The new strategy (published in full at: https://www.gov.uk/human-rights-and-democracy-programme) invites proposals that support:
democratic values and the rule of law;
the rules-based international order; and
human rights for a stable world.
This approach encompasses our previous eight thematic priorities, but allows British embassies, high commissions and implementers around the world the flexibility to address the issues that matter most in the local context and to respond to developments. 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.