Right to Adequate Living Standard

Using humor and street art to hold politicians accountable

Street artists from URA.RU in Yekaterinburg, Russia decorated potholes with the faces of local politicians in order to get them to address severe road quality problems.

The streets in Yekaterinburg had long been plagued with many unfixed pits and potholes. Despite the efforts of URA.RU, a local news website, the problem persisted. Local politicians were more concerned with their public image than with improving the streets, so none took a genuine interest in finding a solution.

Examining budgets to reveal social and economic inequities and persuade the government to rectify them

The Children’s Budget Unit (CBU) at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) uses national and provincial budgets to reveal whether the government is meeting its commitments in protecting the rights of children and to provide recommendations.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Using a right to food framework to influence investment decisions and operations of financial institutions

FoodFirst Information and Action Network International (FIAN) uses a human rights based approach to engage investors in recognizing the negative impacts and human rights violations caused by companies with loans or equity investment by the investors. The tactic is especially used in a campaign on violations of the right to food by large surface gold mines. The goal of the tactic is either to prevent investments in new mines or to mitigate the impacts of existing mines. The tactic relies on the assumption that investors are very sensitive to image threats – often more sensitive because they have more relations to consumers than a mining company.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Engaging key stakeholders to ensure the right to HIV/AIDS education and health care services

Engaging key stakeholders, particularly a transport worker’s union, has been highly effective in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS by establishing a program of advocacy and service to address STIs and HIV in Bangladesh. While Bangladesh’s HIV infection rate is low, it is surrounded by countries with high levels of the virus. Transport workers are particularly vulnerable and at risk to get and spread HIV/AIDS in the country. To prevent the spread of the disease, the development agency CARE-Bangladesh successfully worked to build the trust and respect of the transport union workers, and developed their program alongside the civil society participants.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Combining traditional and Western healing techniques to reintegrate child soldiers into their former communities

Reconstruindo a Esperança (Rebuilding Hope), in Mozambique, combined traditional healing and Western psychology to reintegrate former child soldiers. Thousands of children were used as soldiers by both sides in Mozambique’s devastating civil war. Lucrecia Wamba, a psychologist with Rebuilding Hope, states that “child sol­diers lived through unimaginable horrors and they processed these experiences through the lens of the culture and belief systems of their communities. Their healing necessarily had to be processed through the same lens, in order to achieve both individual rehabilitation and community reintegration.” The organization recognized that neither traditional healing methods nor individualized Western psychology alone would be sufficient to address the needs of the children or the community.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Reframing poverty as a human rights issue to maintain government assistance

The Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) reframes the welfare debate as part of a larger fight for human rights in order to advocate for the maintenance of welfare services.

In 1991, welfare cuts threatened the livelihoods of poor families and communities in the most impoverished district of Pennsylvania. A group of women from this area came together and organized KWRU in order to present welfare as a human rights issue, rather than an issue of personal responsibility for poverty or charity-based government responses.

Providing companies with a plan for a practical HIV policy that reduces the cost of the treatment for all employees

Project M.O.M. Sunshine in Cameroon aims to convince companies to provide medical, psychological and nutritional support to employees living with HIV/AIDS. Their main tactic is to present the company with a plan for a practical HIV policy that reduces the cost of the treatment and that benefits the company’s public image. In particular, the project negotiates with insurance companies dependent on company contracts to improve insurance policies with regard to workers with HIV, and making them more affordable to companies.

Using the budgetary process to work for equity and social justice

The Centre for Budget Advocacy (CBA) is a program operated by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in Ghana. ISODEC works in a variety of advocacy areas to improve the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians.  As part of ISODEC’s Social Justice and Rights Programme, the Centre for Budget Advocacy examines how national and local budgets impact the human rights of Ghanaians, particularly the poor and vulnerable, and seeks to influence these budgets and the general allocation of public resources for the benefit of disadvantaged groups in the country.

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