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.


Empowering Women in Political Participation and Leadership

Summary available

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.

The Voice of Youth: How Youth Can Take on a Critical Role in Human Rights Advocacy

Summary available:

Young people make up an ever-growing portion of the world’s population. As of 2014, the number of youth, ages 10-24, rose to nearly 1.8 billion, or slightly less than 25 percent of the world population. As youth compose a greater share of the population, questions emerge about the role youth will play in addressing the issues relevant to their future. Empowering youth to engage and take an active role in advocacy can play a critical role in societal change and improving human rights. Thus, organizations increasingly seek new ways to engage youth in civil society.

New Tactics in Human Rights through its online conversation, The Voice of Youth: How Youth Can Take on a Critical Role in Human Rights Advocacy, discusses ways how youth are involved in social change, address the challenges to their interests and the role of human rights organizations and practitioners in empowering youth.

Reconciliation Post-Conflict: Approaches, Practices and Realities

Summary Available

Daily headlines around the globe portray the numerous conflicts that arise as a result of heated points of contention. Seemingly disparate ideologies, unequal distribution of resources, political, ethnic, cultural and religious differences can all be contributing factors in the emergence of conflict between groups. In the aftermath of conflict, what role can reconciliation play as a path forward; toward healing, peaceful relations, improved communication and functioning societies?

Where does the process of reconciliation begin, with whom and when? These questions and more were discussed in New Tactics in Human Rights Conversation - Reconciliation Post-Conflict: Approaches, Practices and Realities. This online conversation sought to identify the role of reconciliation in post-conflict environments. Practitioners shared experiences, lessons learned, approaches, and challenges with the reconciliation process from the perspective of reconciliation efforts around the world.

Improving Access to Justice for Children and Teens

Summary available

Children encounter unique obstacles to accessing justice mechanisms for seeking remedies to human rights violations. Providing access of justice for children requires “child sensitive mechanisms” that identify their needs and integrates their voices in justice systems. As a result of the challenges children face when accessing justice, The United Nations passed in April 2014 a third optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OP3) enabling children to bring complaints about violations directly to the committee on the rights of the child if they have not found a solution at a national level. Improving access to justice for children can occur by examining the challenges faced by children, the use of alternative dispute mechanisms, collective litigation strategies, tactics to help child victims through the court process and how to use regional and international complaint mechanisms. This conversation took place in October 2014.

Expanding Access to Justice through Community Paralegals

Summary available

For many communities access to justice represents a near impossibility because of cost, distance, lack of knowledge and the fear of reprisal. Paralegals utilize rapport and trust to increase access to justice for their clients. Despite possessing knowledge and expertise in the legal field they engage in diverse responsibilities in their communities. They advise elders and community leaders, assist individuals find lodging in cases of domestic abuse and conduct fact finding for remedies to rights violations.

Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools

Summary available

Thank you for joining Daniel D’Esposito of HURIDOCS, Enrique Piracés of Benetech and the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools held from June 9th to the 13th, 2014.   

Documentation is a crucial aspect of the quest for justice, accountability and transparency. Whether our goal is to raise awareness about an issue, build a case for human rights court or commission, or collect evidence for a criminal proceeding, documenting what happened (or what is happening) is often the first step towards positive change.

The information we are collecting is sensitive by nature. It often includes information about human rights abuses such as victims' testimonies, names of perpetrators, witnesses, and locations. It may include digital evidence like video or images. How can defenders, who are not technologists, ensure that their information is secure? How can defenders reduce their own risk of harm throughout the documentation process? How can defenders make sure that they have the ability to uphold their commitment to safeguarding the information of vulnerable populations?

Transitional Justice in Practice

Summary available

Thank you for joining Jasmina Brankovic and Sufiya Bray of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Galuh Wandita and Patrick Burgess of the Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and the New Tactics online community for this discussion on Transitional Justice in Practice that took place on May 12 to May 23, 2014.

Over time, the action and concept of transitional justice has evolved into a method used to promote and implement democracy and sustainable peace. Two examples of transitional justice are truth commissions and institutional reform, however individual acts and processes of transitional justice are utilized differently based on the approaches, countries and the cultural context.

Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms

Summary available

Thank you for joining Lisa Reinsberg of the International Justice Resource Center and the New Tactics community for the online conversation on Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms from April 21 to 25, 2014.

Regional human rights mechanisms play an important role in monitoring government compliance with human rights obligations. These courts and commissions provide a way for individuals and groups to hold governments accountable for the failure to protect human rights. In the Americas, Europe and Africa, regional human rights bodies receive individual complaints, monitor and report on human rights conditions, and issue emergency protective measures. These are powerful mechanisms for holding governments accountable for their human rights records if you know how and when to engage them.

Pages