Charitable Objects and Governance

Charitable Objects 

The Peter Tatchell Foundation objects are:

For the public benefit, to support, enforce and promote the law on human rights – as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in subsequent United Nations human rights conventions, and as set out in national legislation and regional conventions on human rights – in the UK and throughout the world by all or any of the following means:

(a) monitoring abuses of human rights;
(b) obtaining redress for the victims of human rights abuse;
(c) relieving need among the victims of human rights abuse;
(d) researching human rights issues;
(e) educating the public about human rights;
(f) contributing to the sound administration of human rights law;
(g) commenting on proposed legislation affecting human rights;
(h) raising awareness of human rights issues;
(i) promoting public support for human rights;
(j) encouraging respect for human rights among individuals and corporations;
(k) advocating observance of human rights law, nationally and internationally;
(l) working to eliminate infringements of human rights;
(m) providing technical advice to government and others on human rights matters;
(n) giving advice and support to individual victims of human rights abuse;
(o) supporting the efforts of others to enforce human rights law.
(p) in furtherance of these objects, but not otherwise, the trustees shall
have the power to engage in political activity provided that the trustees
are satisfied that the proposed activities will further the purposes of the
charity to an extent justified by the resources committed and the activity
is not the dominant means by which the charity carries out its objects.

 

Activities 

We provide advice, information, support, case work, education, awareness, research, publicity and advocacy on human rights issues and human rights law to individuals, organisations and governmental bodies.

We do case work advising and supporting individuals who are victims of human rights violations. We advocate for their human rights and, where appropriate, refer them to specialist agencies. We also seek to influence public consciousness, values and culture regarding human rights (which include the related issues of equality, diversity and non discrimination). We initiate and intervene in public debates to promote awareness of human rights issues and law among the public and social institutions. We seek to ensure that human rights law is known, understood and observed. Where we comment on proposed legislation affecting human rights it is with a view to educating the public on its contents. We do this via news releases, media interviews, articles, education, seminars, conferences, research, private and public meetings, lectures and social media.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation works on a selected range of human rights law and issues in the UK and in support of victims of human rights abuses in selected other countries. Both are decided on the basis of one or more of the following criteria:

– When individuals or organisations affected by human rights law or abuse ask us for advice or assistance;
– When few other organisations are addressing a human rights issue and we can therefore fulfil an unmet need;
– When we feel it is important to question conventional thinking and practice to ensure that universal human rights and law are upheld for everyone – not only for the majority;
– When we can bring a unique perspective to a particular human rights issue, or support human rights in a way that is not being supported by others;
– When individuals, organisations or institutions seek our advice, input or expertise on human rights issues and law.

We consciously aim to avoid duplicating the work of other human rights bodies.

Our selective, targeted approach gives us significant impact despite our small size.

 

PTF Governance 

The Peter Tatchell Foundation (the PTF) is a human rights organisation, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee: 07805736

We have a Board of Trustees (the Board) who are charged with the proper conduct of the PTF in achieving its charitable objects.

The Foundation conforms fully to the Charity Commission’s guidance on the requirements of charitable objects and public benefit.

The Trustees regularly review the activities of the Foundation to ensure that its activities are undertaken in furtherance of its stated charitable objects.

In accordance with charity legislation, the Foundation is applying to become a registered charity with the Charity Commission.

The Board is made up of professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds who are supportive of the PTF’s charitable objects.

The Chair is responsible for the leadership of the Board, ensuring that all Trustees are able to play a full part in its activities and that they conform to their obligations as Trustees.

The Secretary is responsible for advising the Board on governance matters and for ensuring information flows effectively between the Trustees and to the Director (and through him/her to other staff). The Secretary takes the minutes of board meetings.

The Treasurer reports to the Board on the finances of the Foundation.

The Board determines the work of the Foundation. It receives regular detailed briefings, reports and recommendations from relevant Trustees and the Director of the PTF on its activities, financial management and current/future plans. This enables the Board to robustly monitor, evaluate and develop the organisation to achieve its charitable objects.

The roles of the Chair and the Director are separated, with clear guidance to support the division of tasks and responsibilities. The Director is appointed by the Board and is answerable to them. He/She administers the day-to-day work of the PTF, operating under the Board’s guidance and supervision, within parameters determined by the Board. The staff work under the guidance and supervision of the Director and the Board and are answerable to both.

All Trustees are empowered and encouraged to challenge and make enquiries to the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Director and other Board members, to ensure the PTF’s compliance with, and achievement of, its charitable objects.

The PTF undertakes limited campaigning work and political activity. It is a minority element of our overall work. Any campaigning and political activity is undertaken strictly for the pursuit and delivery of the PTF’s charitable purposes.

The Board of Trustees will undertake an assessment as to the reasonable likelihood of success in furthering the PTF’s charitable purposes for the public benefit, before undertaking any such political or campaigning activity.

In terms of campaign work, the PTF will assist individuals around the world to observe and uphold their human rights under international and respective national laws, be it statutory, constitutional, common law or treaty based.

In terms of political activity, the PTF will on occasion seek to influence the Government as to a change in law which breaches human rights (or seek to maintain a law which preserves human rights).

Only a limited, small proportion of the PTF’s time, funds and resources will be dedicated to political activity or campaign work in any given year. The proportion of resources dedicated to such activities may vary in the short term in keeping with the Charity Commission’s guidance in this area.

The PTF is politically neutral, does not have a political purpose and is not aligned to any political party.

The trustees and staff fully understand that only limited political activity or campaign work can be undertaken and then only to achieve the PTF’s charitable purposes.