This page highlights the achievements of some organisations whose relationship with the Trust has come to an end.
Platform:London is a unique organisation which combines advocacy, legal action, research and art to campaign against the global environmental and human rights violations of London-based extractive companies and promote social justice. It was established in 1984 as a place where people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse experiences could meet and explore how they could get cultural activism into politics to create social change.
One of PLATFORM’s most commendable features is its willingness to make long-term commitments to regions and issues, while retaining a self-critical, reflective stance and challenging themselves to come up with new approaches.
PLATFORM was one of the first organisations to reach outside its natural constituency and work with investors, analysts and other City insiders to achieve its objectives, a methodology which is increasingly being replicated by corporate accountability organisations. The Carbon Web Project has developed a sophisticated analysis of the network of institutions that provide different kinds of support (from financing to technology) to fossil fuel companies and engages with them in an effort to prevent destructive impacts.
In February 2013 the Sigrid Rausing Trust awarded Platfrom:London a final one year grant of £75,000 to support the ‘Unravelling the Carbon Web’ project. The trust made its first award to Platform, a small grant of £11,000, in September 2003. At the completion of the final year of support, our partnership will reach 11 years, with the organisation having received grants totalling £621,000.
The Sigrid Rausing Trust is proud to have supported Platform:London for over a decade, during which time the organisation has continuously developed new and innovative campaigns, keeping it at the forefront of the movement to mediate the harmful impacts of the extractive industry.
Maquila Solidarity Network
Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), which was supported by the Trust between 2005 and 2011 with a total of £270,000, is a labour and women's rights organisation which supports the efforts of workers in the global supply chains to advocate for improved working conditions. MSN works in Central America, Asia and Africa and engages in public advocacy, capacity-building and coalition-building. MSN’s main campaigning focus in recent years has been on tackling bad practice in the garment and electronics industry. In 2010, as a key member of an international coalition, it helped secure victory for a group of striking workers at the Johnson Controls Auto Parts Plant in Puebla, Mexico. The factory which produces seats and seat parts for major car companies such as Ford and Mercedes-Benz had signed what is called a 'protection contract' with a union linked to the state government, but the workers had neither seen a copy of the agreement nor were they ever consulted about whether they wished to be represented by this union. Following a three-day strike and national and international mobilisation, the owners of Johnson Controls signed a new agreement with their 450 workers allowing them to be represented by a union of their choice. The agreement also prevents the company from taking legal action against those who participated in the mobilisation and put in place an annual profit-sharing payment of $100 per worker. MSN’s role was to share its experience of dealing with brands and advise its partners on how to approach and deal with international companies.
Clean Clothes Campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), which was funded by the Trust between 2005 and 2011 with a total of £600,000, is an international campaign focused on improving working conditions in the global garment and sportswear industries and on empowering these industries’ largely female workforce. There are CCC coalitions in 12 European countries, backed up by a broader, international network of trade unions and NGOs in garment-producing countries (Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central America). The CCC also cooperates with similar campaigns in the United States, Canada and Australia. The Trust’s funding went towards CCC’s Urgent Appeals System, which helps garment workers and activists build global campaigns around particular local issues. One of its most notable successes was helping to secure the release from detention of Mehedi Hasan, a Bangladeshi field investigator for the US-based Worker Rights Consortium, who was detained by the Bangladeshi security services in January 2008 as part of a general crackdown on labour rights defenders in the country. Hasan was released after CCC alerted the EU Permanent Delegation in Dhaka, who contacted the police station where he was being held and informed the authorities that they would monitor the case.
Bail for Immigration Detainees
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), which was funded by the Trust between 2000 and 2011 with a total of £660,000, is an independent charity dedicated to improving access to bail for immigration detainees and campaigning for an end to arbitrary detention in the UK. BID provides information, advice and support to asylum seekers and migrants in removal centres and prisons to empower them to make their own applications for release as well as encouraging legal representatives, through training and guidance on best practice, to apply for bail for their clients. It has a main office in London, and two smaller offices near detention centres in Oxford and Portsmouth.
Tostan, an international NGO campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM), was funded by the Trust between 2006 and 2011 with a total of £397,936. Based in Senegal and operating in nine African countries, it advocates against FGM and child marriage on a village level, and engages communities to take concrete actions for health, education, good governance, the environment and economic development. The Senegalese government has adopted Tostan’s innovative community-based approach for use in its National Action Plan for the Total Abandonment of FGM, which calls for a complete end to FGM in Senegal by 2015. Since Tostan’s inception, its community education programme has persuaded over 5,000 communities from eight countries to abandon FGM and child/forced marriage.
African Women's Development Fund
Supported by the Trust between 2001 and 2011 with a total of £960,000, the African Women’s Development Fund was the first pan-African women’s grantmaking organisation. Led and advised by African women, it supports human rights and development initiatives aimed at promoting women’s equality. Since its inception in 2001, it has supported over 400 women’s organisations in 41 countries on the continent. Its grantees work in a diverse range of fields including women’s political participation, strengthening the African feminist movement, HIV/AIDS prevention, sexual and reproductive rights, and women’s economic empowerment.
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) was funded by the Trust between 2006 and 2010, receiving a total of £100,000. BIRN is a media development group working in nine countries across the Balkans, enabling journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes.
Over the course of its relationship with the Trust, the Network trained scores of journalists across the region and introduced its Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, which provides intensive training and mentoring as well as publication opportunities. The Network reports that during the past several years it has seen an increase in the skills and capacity of journalists in all nine countries of the region and, indirectly, an improvement in the media outlets for which they work. A particularly useful result of its work is the publication of the Investigative Handbook for Journalists in the Balkans, which showcases interesting investigative stories and individual journalistic successes, as well as providing an overview of investigative techniques.
Children's Legal Centre
The Children’s Legal Centre (CLC) was funded by the Trust between 2003 and 2010. Based at the University of Essex, it works to promote children’s rights worldwide. Over the grant period its achievements included ending all administrative detention of girls for welfare reasons in Tajikistan, shaping the national response to gender-based violence in Rwanda, and producing the first ever global report on the administrative detention of children in partnership with UNICEF. Using the Trust’s funding the CLC set up the first juvenile justice alternatives programme in Central Asia, which gives judges in Tajikistan an alternative to a custodial sentence in cases where the defendant is underage. The programme offers intensive support to first-time young offenders, and the CLC reports that it has resulted in a 50% drop in offending in the areas where it is offered.
The CLC has also set up the first centre in Central Asia for trafficked and exploited girls, again in Tajikistan. The centre offers residential and semi-independent living for the victims of trafficking, and has so far taken in 79 girls. The centre also conducts outreach work and assists in the prosecution of offenders, and has obtained 11 convictions in the two years it has been in operation.
The only museum in London dedicated to a minority group, the Jewish Museum was funded by the Trust for 12 years and received its final grant in summer 2009. Advancement grants from the Trust helped combine the former London Museum of Jewish Life (est.1983) and the Jewish Museum (est.1932) into a single site in Camden, and the new museum opened in the spring of 2010.
The Museum’s exhibition and programming continues to make a significant contribution both to sustaining the memory of the Holocaust and to promoting tolerance and anti-racism in contemporary British society. The educational centre provides a uniquely personal look at the Holocaust, and situates it in the broader context of Jewish life and history rather than in the limited context of the Second World War.
Camfed were funded by the Trust between 2004 and 2011. Since their foundation in 1993 they have assisted nearly 1.5 million children in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi through community development, educational and social support. They have directly assisted around 600,000 children through formal education, including providing scholarships to enable nearly 48,000 girls to attend secondary school.
In Tanzania, schools supported by Camfed through the Safety Net Fund showed a 37 percent reduction in drop-out rates between 2005 and 2007. In Camfed partner high schools in Zambia, pregnancy rates fell by 9 percent between 2006 and 2008, compared to an increase of 38 percent in a control sample of schools.
Our former grantee Survivor Corps sadly ceased operation in 2010. they were funded by the Trust between 2006 and their closure.
As a member of the Steering Group of the International Disability Alliance, Survivor Corps helped to argue for a rights-based approach to disability, and brought the voices of conflict survivors into the discussions which resulted in the adoption of the landmark UN Convention on disability rights.
In Rwanda, Survivor Corps has been instrumental in ensuring the country’s ratification of the Convention, and President Kagame has requested Survivor Corps for assistance in drawing up a national disability rights strategy.
Over its 13 years of operation, Survivor Corps claims to have helped over 12,000 conflict survivors in 12 countries recover from their injuries and trauma, get jobs and give back to their communities. They have negotiated three important treaties for people with disabilities, and have trained survivor advocates and leaders to carry on this work in over 40 war-affected countries.