Each year, hundreds of thousands of people in more than 200 countries come together for a global letter writing marathon for human rights.
This tactic combines the power of art and technology to pay tribute to the courage of genocide survivors. In 2014, ISIS launched deadly attacks against the Yazidi people in northern Iraq. Thousands were killed, exiled, or forced into slavery.
Visual imagery can be a powerful medium for mobilization and awareness around a specific issue. These depictions are especially potent if they utilize a consistent symbol, one that can capture the issue in a vivid and recognizable way. The Resource Centre for Gender Equality (ABAAD), established in 2011, has risen to considerable prominence for its annual “16 Days of Activism” campaigns, each with a different theme to address gender equity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Using boats and other smaller sea vessels to form blockades, and blockades on land as a form of protest, have been historically successful as advocacy tools; able to garner both national and international attention, often producing tangible results. Below are examples of such blockades.
Everyone has the right to music, both as a mechanism of expression and enjoyment. Freemuse, a Copenhagen-based international organization, established March 3rd as Music Freedom Day, in order to advocate for musicians’ right to freedom of expression; to carry out their craft without fear of oppression, imprisonment, or censorship. Between 2007, when Music Freedom Day was launched, and 2014, more than 100 partners and collaborators in 36 countries have joined the annual event.
Public gatherings or rallies have long been used as a form of protest against autocratic regimes or to draw attention to a particular issue, cause or inequity. Communication through modern technology has made it easier to mobilize people into participating in mass global protests. The main intent behind a mass protest on a global scale is to draw international attention on a particular issue. The following mass global protests provide examples highlighting this tactic to advance such diverse issues as climate change, inequality, and electoral reform.
When addressing human rights violations in a public reconciliation process, it’s important to make the process comfortable for victims who testify. One tactic is “accompaniment” of victims by volunteers trained in psychosocial support and the practical realities of the process. The goal is to give victims an empowering experience that helps their healing and does not contribute to re-traumatization.
To address gross human rights violations committed during apartheid, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was initiated by legislation in 1995. Their mandate was to document violations committed by state bodies or armed opposition, to promote national unity and reconciliation, and to offer policy reforms to prevent future abuses. In addition to amnesty and human rights hearings, special hearings were held, focused on abuses suffered by women and children. These hearings were held around the country and were covered extensively by all media.
Ujamaa Africa reduces the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya by teaching boys about respect for women and how to intervene in the event of an assault.
Mexican citizen and journalist, Epigmenio Ibarra, created tumblr blog #IllustradoresConAyotzinapa which combines social media and artistic illustrations of 43 disappeared college students to sustain awareness of their disappearances and to memorialize their individual lives.
The Peaceful Elections Initiative (INAMA) organizes citizen reporters who use text messaging to monitor local tensions and violent outbreaks leading up to elections and to prevent dishonesty during elections.