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.

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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.

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.

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.

Using a citizen search and seizure operation to pressure the gov­ernment to release public documents

Operation SalAMI used what it called a “Citizen Search and Seizure Operation” to pressure the Canadian gov­ernment to release a secret draft treaty that members believed could undermine human rights. The group was able to generate public condemnation of the secrecy used to shield the government and the treaty from public scrutiny.

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.

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.

Using popular culture to engage young people in human rights reporting

Nigdy Wiecej (Never Again) is using pop culture to build an anti-racist youth network in Poland. At rock concerts and soccer matches the group reaches out to large numbers of young people and makes them aware of the prob­lem. It then recruits some to join a network of correspondents who monitor and report on the activities of neo-fas­cist and racist groups in their hometowns.

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

Action Theatre to mobilize communities for change

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) in Bangladesh works to address numerous human rights problems, including gender equality and access to justice. Their approach is to form small local Action Theatre groups, or Manobadhikar Natya Parishad (MNP), by building collaborative relationships with local non-governmental or civil society organizations, as well as with local individuals.

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

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