Tactics

Are you looking for ideas and inspiration on how you can achieve your human rights goals? Then you’re in the right place. Below, we have over 220 examples of successful human rights tactics.

Browse all of our tactics or use the filters below to filter by type of tactical aim, tactical action, human rights issue, and geographic region or keywords. You can select multiple items in each filter by holding the Ctrl/Command or Shift keys while selecting the items of your choice; selecting an item under one filter will cause the other filters to adjust to only show items that match your existing selections. Use the Reset button to clear your choices.

Engaging local leaders to use their influence to help end abuse

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana solicits the support of respected commu­nity leaders — chiefs and queen mothers — to address the problem of trokosi, a system in which women and young girls are kept in fetish shrines without their consent. Families give their girls to the shrines to atone for the sins or crimes committed by a family member, and to thereby end or reverse a family’s bad luck.

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

Activating historic sites as centers for citizen engagement with human rights issues

Around the world, people instinctively turn to places of memory to come to terms with the past and chart a course for the future. Memory is a critical language and terrain of human rights. These places can be a powerful and critical tool for building a lasting culture of human rights. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience works to build the capacity of historic sites around the world to foster dialogue on pressing social issues and promote democratic and humanitarian values. It seeks to change the role of historic sites in civic life from places of passive learning to centers for active citizen engagement. Using the power of place to help communities have ongoing dialogues about the meaning of their past and the shape of their future.

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

Organizing a large-scale petition drive to pressure the government to change

In 2002, Poder Ciudadano (Citizen Power) collected signatures on a petition that, under a constitutional provi­sion, the Argentine congress was then obligated to consider. The constitutional provision requires the congress to deliberate any proposed legislation brought before it by community members or organizations, as long as that legislation bears the signatures of 1.5 percent of Argentine citizens in at least six of 24 districts.

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

Promoting community policing through computer-based training

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia ) introduced a computer-based police training education program to engage and enlist the support of key leadership of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to champion the training tool. As a tactic, the computer-based police training program provides an excellent tool to promote community policing and help police more effectively address their own immediate day-to-day policing challenges while also serving to build mutual trust, acknowledgement and support.

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

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.

Utilizing an information specialist and systems to help human rights advocates work more effectively

The Human Rights Centre at the University of Sarajevo focuses on improving access to information for human rights advocates. Staff members have built a strong information system and a central role for an information specialist. Use of this system and of the specialist’s skills has allowed other staff to better and more productively focus on their core programmatic missions.

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

Building collaborative relationships with government officials to promote change from within the system

Citizens’ Watch identifies democratic Russian officials who are supportive of human rights and reform and provides them with opportunities to strengthen democratic processes in Russia. The legacy of Soviet rule and totalitarianism left extremely challenging conditions for the development of democracy in Russia. Government officials had no experience in being responsive to the public, an essential practice in a democracy.

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.

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