Protecting survivors and witnesses of human rights violations is crucial to effective human rights work. Protection is important because when survivors and witnesses fear further persecution, they are unlikely to report their experiences, making redress and accountability much more difficult. The state is formally responsible for providing protection, but it is the state that is often the greatest source of perceived risk amongst witnesses and survivors. In this conversation, participants together with New Tactics in Human Rights and DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture) discussed the various strategies to protect witnesses and survivors of human rights violations, the challenges faced and the role of civil society.
Search Past Conversations
Learn from the experiences of human rights defenders by browsing and searching our previous New Tactics Conversations. You can search for a particular topic or geographic region and find human rights defenders you can connect with. Or, see the entire list of topics on one page.
Since the start of the 21st Century, climate change has gained significant traction in being recognized as a prominent, worldwide threat. The wide array of expected environmental impacts will result in food and water shortages, increased displacement, and higher rates of disease worldwide, all of which will have pronounced effects on global health. In this conversation, participants from around the world together with New Tactics in Human Rights discussed the various challenges of combatting the relationship between climate change and health, how to best form partnerships in order to mitigate, and successful tactics that can be utilized in order to result in a more promising, heathier future.
The use of video as a tool for creating social change is determined by the impact that video can have on individuals. Understanding the intended and unintended consequences, both positive and negative, of the use of video in advocacy efforts is critical to its implementation in successful social change.
In this conversation, discussion leaders and participants evaluated how impact can be created and how individuals and organizations can measure, monitor, and evaluate the impact of their video for change efforts. Conversation leaders explored the stages at which impact can occur (research, training, production, filming, and screening) and discussed how to design appropriate strategies given desired impacts.
Ideas, and how they are expressed, define efforts to move causes forward, create change, and build consensus of opinion. Effectively influencing public opinion is a key component to successful social movements. Tomorrow's world is shaped by those who are most adept at impacting what people think and subsequently how they behave. But how do you influence people's opinions, mindsets, and preconceived notions?
Social psychology is the science of why people make choices and provides insights into how messaging shapes people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Understanding the science behind influence leads to more effective and lasting change. In this conversation, New Tactics In Human Rights explored the principles of persuasion politics; the development of messaging strategy; how mentality change occurs; and frames and values.
Since the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998, there has been considerable effort to recognize and protect the rights of people to defend their own and others’ human rights. Over time, an international protection regime for human rights defenders has emerged, aimed at protecting and supporting defenders in the face of threats and risks. Based upon the international human rights framework, this protection regime focuses on human security, and consists of a variety of actors and mechanisms operating at national, regional, and international levels.
Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the equal rights of all persons with disabilities to make choices equal to all members of society, and requires governments to take effective steps to facilitate the full enjoyment of this basic right by persons with disabilities. Despite the rights discerned by international law, persons living with disability still continue to be excluded in decision-making processes, requiring many needs that have not been fulfilled.
In order to address these concerns, practitioners both challenged and discussed definitions and language regarding ‘disability,’ applying UNCRDP to international and local dimensions, and difficulties organizations/communities may face in the context of independent monitoring bodies in the New Tactics in Human Rights conversation, “Influencing Policy to Create Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disability.” Furthermore, strategies of creating better advocacy, forming partnerships, and fostering inclusivity in organizations for persons with disabilities were discussed.
In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that nearly 21 million people were victims of human trafficking, including approximately 5.5 million children, trafficked primarily into forced labor and sexual exploitation. The need for victim related services is great and, sadly, growing. Victim services range from legal assistance to safe havens; employment training to mental health rehabilitation.
In this conversation summary, resources, approaches and examples were shared to assist practitioners fighting against human trafficking. Conversation leaders discussed communication and institutional barriers to providing services to trafficked persons.
Although the terminology may be new to some, intersectionality is not a new concept. As long as people have faced multiple threats to their dignity and humanity, they have experienced intersectionality. But it is U.S.-based Black women, other women of color, and women of the global south who have developed our present understanding of how our social identities—race, gender, class, sexuality, etc. function; how the systems that maintain these identities—racism, sexism, capitalism, heterosexism—work together to compound our oppression; and, therefore, how we must work collectively to eradicate these systems. Thus, intersectionality not only boldly claims the value of the lives of marginalized and oppressed peoples by centering our experiences and strategies, but asserts the need to work collaboratively towards our collective liberation.
At the local and community level all the way to the highest levels of government, women are often underrepresented in leadership positions, left without a voice in decision-making and ignored as an electorate. Women hold only 22 percent of national parliamentary positions globally. This means that women are underrepresented in all facets of the political process often due to social-cultural barriers, the absence of training and resources for women’s political organizing, standards of living and precarious economic challenges.