Monitoring and physical presence

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Creating Safe Spaces: Tactics for Communities at Risk

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics community for an online conversation on Creating Safe Spaces: Tactics for Communities at Risk from March 11 to 15, 2013.

Sometimes, in order to make the change we seek to be realized, we need to model it so that the community can experience it for themselves. Creating a safe space in which everyone’s rights are recognized and respected gives communities at risk the opportunity live without fear of persecution or abuse. Creating this space also allows the vulnerable group to understand and experience the realization of their human rights, and giving them and the broader community a vision to work towards.

This online conversation is an opportunity for practitioners to share their examples, experiences, challenges and ideas around creating safe spaces for groups at risk and build communities that put human rights into practice.

Monitoring Prisons to Prevent Abuse

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Thank you for joining the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the New Tactics online community for an online conversation on Monitoring Prisons to Prevent Abuse from April 15 to 19.

Prisoners are vulnerable because they are deprived of their liberty and find themselves in a situation of unbalance vis-à-vis the detaining authorities. Monitoring prisons and police detention facilities is one of the most effective ways of preventing torture and ill-treatment and making the authorities accountable. More and more actors are present in places of detention with the aim of preventing torture and other ill-treatment, but challenges remain numerous.

Side by Side: Protecting and encouraging threatened activists with unarmed international accompaniment

A volunteer working with a human rights defenderSince the mid-1980s, human rights groups and other activist organizations being targeted with repressive abuses have been calling on international NGOs to provide them with direct accompaniment by international field workers. These field workers — usually volunteers — spend twenty-four hours a day with threatened activists, at the premises of threatened organizations, in threatened communities or witnessing public events organized by threatened groups. The international presence serves as a deterrent against the use of violence. In order to ensure this deterrence, these international accompaniment organizations are part of transnational networks poised and ready to mobilize political pressure against perpetrators should their volunteers witness any attacks or should their clients be further threatened.

Plan B: Using Secondary Protests to Undermine Repression

Activist holding flowers in front of policeThe Otpor! student movement in Serbia built a broad constituency of support by continuously innovating and combining tactics to ensure the safety of their volunteers and break down the fear of its people to speak out against the government. The content of the notebook focuses on “Plan B,” one tactic they used to do this. When Serb authorities began arresting demonstrators, Otpor!’s support base could have disintegrated due to fear.

Front Line Watchdogs: Monitoring accountability for human rights

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Thank you for your participation in our dialogue on Front Line Watchdogs: Monitoring accountability for human rights. Front line watchdogs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be seen in courtrooms ensuring fair trials, accompanying threatened human rights defenders, holding vigil outside police stations to prevent torture, protecting election ballot results, testing for discrimination, monitoring development aid projects, investigating toxic waste from companies, etc., etc. 

Using Budgets for Monitoring

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics online community for this dialogue on 'Using Budgets for Monitoring' from February 24 to March 2, 2010. This online dialogue is a space for practitioners using - and training others to use - government budgets to monitor the implementation of human rights commitments. The goal of this dialogue is to create a stronger network on practitioners using budgets for monitoring, to share important resources and information, and also to introduce this technique to our online community.

Using Shadow Reports for Advocacy

Shadow reports (often called 'alternative reports') are submitted to treaty monitoring bodies at the United Nations and other international institutions as an alternative to a government's official report regarding the human rights situation in its respective country. This online dialogue will be a space for practitioners and scholars to share experiences, challenges, successes, resources and tool for the effective use of shadow reports to expose the reality of the human rights situation in their countries.

Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach

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This important online dialogue featured Documenting Violations: Choosing the Right Approach from January 27 to February 2, 2010.  This dialogue featured practitioners that have developed database systems to document human rights violations, organizations on the ground documenting violations, and those that are training practitioners on how to choose the right approach and system for their documentation.  We looked at options for ways to collect, store and share your human rights data safely and effectively.

Election Monitoring

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Election monitoring is a powerful tool in promoting democracy, political rights and good governance. Participants in this dialogue discussed the principles behind this tactic, the risks and challenges involved, and the techniques being used by practitioners to overcome these challenges. 

Unarmed Accompaniment

Unarmed accompaniment is the protection of human rights defenders so they can continue their important work! Human rights defenders do their work in unpredictable and often dangerous situations and conditions around the world. Unarmed accompaniment provides a powerful witness to those who may wish to harm defenders, letting them know their actions will be known.

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