Strengthening Individuals & Communities

Coordinating efforts to preserve archival information among several organizations and creating a system for accessing it

Memoria Abierta has created a system to make accessible all public archives of documents, photographs and interviews that testify to the horrors of state terrorism in Argentina, its victims and the people who stood against it. While anyone with Internet access can search the online catalog of the files, the actual materials remain in the offices of each member organization or in Memoria Abierta’s office. The database provides a single index of all materials, easily searchable by any user.

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

Mobilizing public resources for a socially marginalized group

ICAR’s tactic is part of a strategy to convince the government to take responsibility for the nation’s past in order to build a better future. Many of the torturers from communist-era Romania escaped with impunity and some now occupy influential positions in society. Victims face a society in which substantial forces would prefer to forget the past — and its victims — rather than learn from that past in order to build a deeper civil commitment to democracy and human rights.

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

Creating a network of volunteer monitors to persuade local and national governments to abide by international human rights commitments

The League of Human Rights Advocates (LHRA) in Slovakia has developed a network of volunteer human rights monitors within the minority Roma population to ensure that international human rights treaties are implement­ed at the local level. As part of its work to become a member of the European Union, Slovakia ratified a number of treaties relating to human rights and was vulnerable to criticism of their human rights record. In addition, the constitution of the Slovak Republic gives priority, over domestic laws, to international human rights treaties rati­fied and passed into law by its parliament.

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.

Using international mechanisms to apply pressure on a national government to institute policy and legal changes

The Committee for Administration of Justice (CAJ) used the United Nations Committee Against Torture to raise local human rights issues to the international level. In order to use international mechanisms such as this effectively, a number of other tactics were used including written submissions to the Committee, lobbying in Geneva and monitoring the impact the recommendations of the various Committee reports have had on Northern Ireland in terms of actually improving the human rights situation on the ground.

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

Engaging key and respected agents of change in the development and training of a human rights curriculum

In order to create support for such a human rights curriculum that also encompassed religious educational institutions, the National Working Group in Indonesia engaged key and respected leaders–community and religious leaders as well as teachers–in the development and training of the human rights curriculum. By taking the time and effort to engage opinion and religious leaders in the process, the NWG was able to develop their critical support and integrate their needs and concerns in order to overcome barriers and challenges to human rights education.

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

Using coalition based participation in government to help indigenous communities to influence policy

By building a coalition, the Network of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB) has been able to participate in governmental bodies in order to influence policy in a way that benefits indigenous communities.

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

Developing pro bono services in the professional legal community

A small group of people from the legal community organized a seminar in 2001 to discuss how to promote pro bono legal services in Brazil. Taking inspiration from Daniel Grunfeld, then president and CEO of the Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles, this group undertook a variety of steps in order to create an organization that would work to legalize pro bono activity, to institutionalize the ethic within the legal profession, and to create an efficient system for bringing together pro bono lawyers with clients in need. In order to accomplish any of their goals, this small group knew they needed to gain the support of leading members of the Brazilian legal profession. Thus they invited top lawyers and professors to join in their effort. Eventually, 37 legal professionals joined together in 2001 to create the Instituto Pro Bono of Sao Paulo.

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

Building public and media awareness to change the minimum wage and policy for sub-contract workers

In 2001, the KWWAU conducted a nation-wide campaign to raise the minimum wage by making recommendations to the South Korean government and prosecuting the businesses that violated the minimum wage system. During June and July of that year, over 15,000 people signed the petition. The KWWAU conducted a survey on the condition of 528 subcontracted women working as cleaners in 107 companies in nine cities. Through the survey, it emerged that 23% of the workers surveyed received less than the minimum wage (421,490 KRW /$409 US per month).

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

Collaborating with government to incorporate human rights education into public schools

The Albanian Center for Human Rights (ACHR) collaborated with the Albanian Ministry of Education to bring human rights education into all public schools in the country. The group took advantage of the post-communist transition period, negotiating with officials in the new democratic government to launch a long-term and ambi­tious process in which they would prepare young Albanian citizens to participate fully in a democracy.

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

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