Happy New Year!
The Race for Human Rights Team is made up of 3 hardworking, creative and passionate individuals: Farah Farzana, Clare Gallagher and Junaid Ashraf.
This short blog is aimed at introducing you with our race equality, human rights and community engagement officers. A vital part of each of these roles is mainstreaming and networking and we believe it’s always best to put a face to a name!
For the past few years, I have been an active member of the human rights field ranging from frontline community work to research published at the Centre of Study of Human Rights Law. My human rights journey began when I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law inspired by my experience of working with asylum seekers and refugees. While studying, I had the privilege to work with vulnerable young people and families in communities across Great Glasgow and Clyde and proceeded to share my learning to develop policies and practices to ensure that service providers reflect the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC).
My main area of interest focuses on accountability and protection of human rights. Our basic rights and freedoms are enshrined under national, regional and international human rights law and the protection of these rights are often flawed due to gaps in the accountability process.
I am excited about our Race for Human Rights Project as it focuses on this gap by improving and building on public bodies and civil society’s knowledge and understanding of human rights law- we can better protect our human rights if we know what they are! Together with the changing human rights landscape in Scotland, that will see four international human rights conventions create a new Scottish Human Rights Bill, I truly believe we are paving the way for better human rights protection.
My passion lies within community activism.
As co-founder and current Board Member for Al Masaar SCIO, which means ‘Path to Progression’, I actively instill my ethos of grassroots driven change to overcoming cultural and structural barriers. Graduating with a Merit from the University of Glasgow, provided an insight between the academia of Education and Public Policy and its political influences, with the aspiration to not only hold public bodies to account for social inequities, but also provide solutions for social justice. As a mother of two, I am also an active member of a Parent Council, which has provided great practical knowledge and understand of the effectiveness of national policies. Through lived experiences, and professional development, I aspire to be an influential person, to improve social justice and fairness in Scotland where an individual’s potential and ability are not limited because of their socio-economic background, colour and support needs.
Being a part of CEMVO Scotlands Race for Human Rights programme is an opportunity to utilise experiences and knowledge to provide practical solutions to third, public and private sector in overcoming racism in our society. Working alongside leaders to drive systemic change for economic and social progress is essential to achieve an equitable and inclusive Scotland.
As a young person who grew up in youth work and youth politics, I loved my community of changemakers who shaped who I have become as an adult. I adored the process of collectively gathering to change the injustices we see within our society. In my mid-teens, I was actively involved in campaigning to reduce the voting age from 18 years old to 16 years old to encourage the participation of young people within our democracy and through campaigning gained my own intrigue for politics.
Since then, my passion for fighting injustice, correcting systemic inequalities within our society and my keen willingness to become involved in understanding how we can make a fairer society has developed. As someone who loves to challenge himself in new roles, I have been proud to sit as a Trustee on two national equalities charities as well as a board member of several organisations such as my local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and a local theatre group.
My role as Community Engagement Officer at CEMVO focusses on my passion for community building and seeks to create networks for the benefit of grassroots organisations as well as national public bodies, private organisations and any participant of the Race for Human Rights programme. Only through the consultation of our service users can we facilitate the most effective impact of our services as organisations whether private, public or third sector. It is my role to ensure that through consultation there is not an exclusion of ethnic minority voices within this process. I am excited to be a part of the Race for Human Rights programme and look forward to supporting your organisation’s needs in seeking to become a more inclusive and equitable service provider.