by Alice Tucker, Third Sector Human Rights and Equalities Development Officer (East region)
Earlier this month, I embarked on the 6-hour journey from my parent’s home in Cambridgeshire to Edinburgh to begin my role as a Human Rights and Equalities Development Officer with EVOC.
My move-in day marked only the second time I had been to Edinburgh, with the first being a month before to view flats. To the outside observer, this may have seemed like a radical decision. I was moving to a new country, hundreds of miles from my friends and family with very little knowledge of the city that was about to become my home. But, when I saw EVOC’s advertisement for the Development Officer role, it was too good to let fear get in the way. EVOC were looking for a new member of staff to support a project entitled THRE (Third Sector Human Rights and Equalities) that was about to be launched in partnership with two other Third Sector Interfaces across Scotland – the project’s goal being to support the third sector in putting human rights and equalities at the heart of what they do. For me, this sounded perfect.
I recently graduated from a Master’s degree in human rights and was looking for an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice. Being able to do so within the context of the third sector was ideal, as I have been involved with charities, volunteering and fundraising for the past 4 years in both paid and voluntary capacities. So, this role felt like the perfect fit for me…even if it was 300 miles away!
Familiarising myself with how human rights are being tackled in Scotland was a reassuring experience. Whilst there have been prominent challenges to human rights in the UK in recent times, it quickly became clear to me that Scotland genuinely cares about human rights and equalities. From the Scottish parliament’s unanimous vote to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to the various training and events on equalities being hosted within the sector, human rights are being made a priority at all levels. This was a very welcome discovery, but I knew that this doesn’t mean things are perfect in Scotland, or anywhere for that matter. Rather, it was now my job to support the third sector to improve their own work on human rights and equalities. This will range from delivering training on what human rights and equalities mean, to creating resources and checklists highlighting what can be done, and what is already being done, by the sector.
So now, after fitting my life into my parent’s 7-seater and journeying with them up almost the entire length of the A1, it’s time for the work to begin!
Find out more about THRE here.