We all want to live in a fair and decent society. As we move towards leaving the EU, we need to make the most of every opportunity to strengthen the UK’s ability to deliver equality, human rights and prosperity for all.
Our February 2018 report, Shared Prosperity, Shared Rights (pdf), makes the case for an effective replacement of EU funding that supports equality and human rights.
The report finds:
- The EU provided billions of pounds of investment for human rights and equality projects between 2007-2013 and from 2014-20. Programmes in the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund with a strong focus on equality and human rights are worth over £5.55 billion to the UK
- There are as yet no plans to replace the separate Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme. The REC funds strategic initiatives and frontline support, including for people experiencing hate crime and domestic violence. A third of REC-funded projects directly support people in the UK
- The funding requirements for EU programmes themselves drive practical delivery of equality and human rights on the ground.
Agile Nation 2, for example, is funded by the ESF to support women’s career development in Wales – particularly in underrepresented STEM industries.
The report makes twenty recommendations for post-Brexit funding, including:
- Provide successor funding, both for the ESF and other funds critical for equality and human rights including REC
- Build equality drivers into all future funds, including the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund
- Ensure that equality and human rights remain part of domestic priorities in practice, and that domestic priorities take devolution into account
- Improve processes and targeting, including better use of equality data; and
- Facilitate networks and transnational working.