Prevention

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.

Data gathering to address child labor, sexual abuse and trafficking in the entertainment industry

Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) conducted an undercover survey of all circuses in India to discover the magnitude of child labor and trafficking in the circus industry. There is a serious problem of trafficking of young girls between Nepal and India (both countries are on the Tier 2 Watch list in U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report). The girls are trafficked for the purposes of slavery, including sexual slavery and prostitution.

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

Protecting arrested demonstrators by protesting outside the police stations where they are being detained

The Serbian police made an habitual response to all actions of arresting activists. The arrests threatened to demoralize young activists and intimidate them into giving up. Otpor! (“Resistance!” in Serbo-Croatian) prepared secondary demonstrations — their “Plan B” — outside police stations to respond immediately to arrests during protest events. The police were less likely to beat or detain the activists, knowing that large crowds and a number of journalists were waiting outside for them, while the activists felt less afraid, thanks to the support they knew they were receiving.

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

Creating alternative mechanisms of dispute resolution to prevent the involvement of the police, who are potential abusers.

As an alternative to the criminal justice system, the Centre for Victims of Torture (CVICT) in Nepal has created a process of community mediation. This process keeps some people from being needlessly arrested and brought to police stations, where 60 percent of prisoners are tortured into giving confessions. CVICT conducted research on what types of disputes were occurring, then developed a training course for com­munity leaders, including women and Dalits (of the untouchable caste), on settling disputes with a rights-based community mediation method. Community mediation would be available for disputes other than violent crimes and to everyone, regardless of age, sex, class or social caste. To recruit trainers, CVICT held mass meetings in each community and asked for nominations. The trainers were then trained in human rights, local laws and methods of handling disputes. Many who were already involved in mediating disputes could build on their existing skills. These trainers then trained others at the local level.

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

Monitoring police conduct through personal observation

In response to the rising incidence of police abuse in Berkeley, COPWATCH was started in 1990 to observe and document police activities and interactions with the community.  The program also serves as a reminder to the police that the community will hold them accountable for their actions and provides a way for people to participate in their community.  COPWATCH organizes citizen patrols that cover the streets of Berkeley.  The patrols are comprised of pairs of volunteers who walk the streets for a shift (usually of a few hours), keeping an eye out for police activities.

Engaging victims to develop a community education user friendly guide “know your rights” titled “Detainees Guide”

The Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) developed a user friendly guide to raise awareness about the rights of detainees in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The process engaged people whose rights had been violated in order to understand what the broader community actually needed to know about their rights in order to claim them and prevent future abuse. The process combined community focus groups, field experience and legal expertise.

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