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.

Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools

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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

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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

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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.

Engaging Non Traditional Allies

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Engaging Non Traditional Allies from March 24 to 28, 2014.

In human rights work, sometimes the most impactful partnerships are with allies you wouldn’t expect. Allies outside of what we consider the traditional human rights community can provide additional networks, expertise and skills to your campaign. In Cairo, for example, Harassmap partners with local shop owners to create “safe zones” against sexual harassment. Human rights organizations in Thailand, Liberia and Austria work with police to promote human rights, professionalism and cross-cultural exchange. Partnerships with businesses and police are not traditional, nor are they easy. But the interdisciplinary nature of these partnerships can lead to successful campaigns.

Keeping the Momentum: How to maintain commitment and credibility

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Thank you for joining the Anouska Teunen of Amnesty International Australia and the New Tactics online community for a discussion on Keeping the Momentum: How to maintain commitment and credibility from February 17 to 21, 2014.

Human rights change can take many months, years and sometimes decades to materialize. It requires endurance, of the human rights defenders to continue their advocacy, while maintaining a strong support base with the general public. And even when objectives seem to have been achieved, for example once a country has adopted a new constitution or other legislation, actual implementation can still be a challenge, again requiring for sustained monitoring and scrutiny of civil society groups, who again have to be sure they can count on their support base. This is especially important in countries where authorities attempt to isolate human rights groups as if they no longer have the support of the people they claim to be representing.

This online conversation will be an opportunity for human rights defenders to share their experiences, ideas and challenges with their peers. How are groups maintaining and nurturing the commitment of their supporters over long periods of time? How are groups addressing frustration with their own colleagues, and lost faith, or simply indifference with the general public? How to deal with counter strategies that are used in order to discredit human rights defenders over time? Join us this week to participate in this important discussion!

Building strong human rights partnerships and coalitions

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In human rights work, collaboration is crucial. One organization will not have all the resources and skills to support a human rights movement. So it is necessary to build partnerships and coalitions in order to achieve your goals and build solidarity. However, there are many barriers to collaboration. Many human rights organizations have overarching common aims and visions, but when it comes to working together on campaigns, agreeing on the specific campaign outcomes can be difficult and ineffective. This often leads to fewer opportunities for partnerships and more competition among these groups for campaigning space. Furthermore, finding partners who have the expertise and skills that you need can be challenging (especially when you're not sure what you need!).

Visualizing Information for Advocacy

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Thank you for joining Tactical Technology Collective and the New Tactics community for an online conversation November 11 to 15, 2013.  

People around the world use digital tools and visualisation techniques to expose injustice and abuse, creating narratives to challenge the status quo and mobilising for action.

Whether we’re swamped by it or starved of it, the value of information depends on its quality, and its usefulness depends on our ability to communicate it successfully. As activists, we can't sit and wait for people to wade through sixty-page reports. To influence people we must make strong arguments and communicate them using strong evidence. Well timed, rigorous and well-presented information is the greatest asset activists possess.

Change the Story: Harnessing the power of narrative for social change

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Thank you for joining the Center for Story-based Strategy (CSS) and the New Tactics community for an online conversation October 14 to 18.  

People and communities use stories to understand the world and our place in it. These stories are embedded with power - the power to explain and justify the status quo as well as the power to make change imaginable and urgent. A narrative analysis of power encourages us to ask: Which stories define cultural norms? Where did these stories come from? Whose stories were ignored or erased to create these norms? And, most urgently, what new stories can we tell to help create the world we desire?

This conversation helped human rights defenders to learn more about story-based strategy and how to integrate it into campaign planning. It was an opportunity for those practitioners using story-based strategy to share their experiences, questions, and ideas with each other.

Media Tactics for Social Change

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Thank you for joining Holly Hammond of Plan to Win and the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Media Tactics for Social Change from September 16 to 20.

Communicating with people is central to creating social change and defending human rights. The media can be a conduit for that communication - allowing us to reach broad stakeholders and communities. However the media also reflects power relationships in a society, with the most powerful getting to have the biggest say. Media bias and corporate and state control can be significant barriers to our communication efforts. In many societies media is actually one of the pillars of power. The media can bolster or undermine progress. It can make or break regimes. It can foster, or undo, a culture of respect for human rights.

Powerful Persuasion: Combating Traditional Practices that Violate Human Rights

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Powerful Persuasion: Combating Traditional Practices that Violate Human Rights from August 19 to 23, 2013.

Traditions and rituals are often supported by strongly held cultural beliefs.  The deep roots of traditional cultural practices can make it very difficult to change behaviors that are harmful and violate the human rights of a community or individual. Often, the key to this kind of cultural shift is respectful, patient, community-led persuasion to create movements for change.