Stonewall is delighted that the Charity Commission has approved a request to extend its strategic lobbying to include overseas work. For the very first time, the charity will be permitted to ‘promote human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent UN conventions throughout the world’.

‘We’re delighted at the Charity Commission’s decision,’ said Stonewall Chair David Isaac. ‘After our biennial supporters’ survey last year a number of supporters raised the importance of international work with us now that the legislative landscape in Britain is almost equalised. Having canvassed a wide sample of our supporters during the last 12 months and reviewed our obligations under charity law, we’re clear that our lobbying and research teams now have the opportunity to influence overseas without undermining the important work – such as our pioneering Education for All programme – to which we’re absolutely committed in Britain. We look forward to working with other groups seeking to deliver change internationally. As Stonewall will seek to influence from within the UK our focus will, we hope, complement the work of others.’

‘When we became a charity in 2003 there was an extensive outstanding legislative programme which we thought would take 10-15 years to secure,’ said Ben Summerskill, Stonewall’s Chief Executive. ’Having achieved almost all of those legal changes, we’re now in a stronger position to commend Britain’s legislative framework to other countries around the world. The dogged support of tens of thousands of individual donors means that we’re one of the few charities in the country whose income has continued to grow throughout the recession. That commitment means that involvement in overseas advocacy will not dilute any of our existing domestic activities; we retain our ambition to make Britain a worldwide beacon for equality.’

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