After a six year battle, the Peter Tatchell Foundation has finally secured charity status from the UK Charity Commission, confirming “human rights is a legitimate charitable objective”. Founded by respected activist Peter Tatchell, the now charity seeks to promote and protect the human rights of individuals, communities and nations, in the UK and internationally.
Director of the Foundation, Peter Tatchell himself, stated: “This decision has confirmed the Foundation’s charitable work and status, and our legitimacy as a mainstream human rights organisation. It will enhance the credibility, authority and effectiveness of our work promoting and protecting human rights around the world.” He continued: “I hope that our precedent will aid the bids of other human rights organisations striving for charitable status.”
The battle over charitable status concerned rules by the Charity Commission that no charity can be established for political purposes or to make campaigning its main focus. The Peter Tatchell Foundation countered that its work involved information sharing, education, awareness raising, advice and casework – none of which ran in contradiction to the rules, saying also that advancing human rights was different to campaigning to change laws.
The Foundation’s lawyer, Matt Ingham, said: “This long awaited approval reflects the Charity Commission’s more nuanced and sophisticated understanding. It is important to understand the barriers that prevent legitimate charitable entities from gaining approval in order to properly address them.”
Peter Tatchell is widely known for his fearless work in advancing human rights. He was arrested in Russia during the World Cup while protesting the country’s treatment of LGBT+ people and most recently he’s been campaigning for compensation for gay men who were pardoned after being convicted under Britain’s laws against homosexuality.
Tatchell appeared on GCN’s Q+A Podcast speaking to Brian Finnegan about his life and times, coming out to his religious fundamentalist parents, the beginning of the gay rights movement in London, and overcoming fear to put himself in harm’s way for other people’s human rights over 50 years of direct activism.
Listen below, and for others in the series, head to wherever you get your Podcast fix and subscribe, rate and share! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts here.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.