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If you complete this questionnaire, you will get some initial ideas on human rights and human rights defenders. This will support you to begin the learning package which follows.Please feel free to express your opinion.
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Times of economic uncertainty and/ or political instability can create a fertile ground for stigmatisation and hatred. Being an HRD and supporting HRDs, helps to build the foundation of a universal culture of respect for human rights.
It is crucial for a free and just society that people are able to participate in decision making processes that affect them, criticise the government and stand up for their rights and rights of others without facing repression.
Today, there are people across the world facing grave risks to stand up for others. They could be teachers, student leaders, political opponents, factory workers, lawyers or so many others. They could be you, your friend or your relatives.
Anyone can be an HRD if they act to defend or promote human rights. These people are actively addressing discrimination, prejudice and intolerance. Living in a country where human rights of all people are protected is an ideal we have not achieved yet.
There is no ranking between countries when it comes to human rights violations, there are no good or bad countries as such. There is a constant need to promote and protect human rights in all countries of the world. Investing in human rights education is one way to help ensure a sustainable foundation for a culture of universal respect for human rights. Arguing for human rights, with family and friends, who are holding a different opinion sometimes takes courage.
HRDs can be at risk of physical attack and threats to their lives. Some governments misuse laws and start smear campaigns to silence them and keep them from protesting.
Amnesty’s global campaign for human rights defenders aims at connecting and equipping HRDs around the world to protect their rights and the rights of others.
Join us in solidarity with HRDs around the world and get active in promoting and protecting human rights in your own country. This package will help you to get started!
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Human rights are inherent to every human being, they belong to all in equal measure and cannot be taken away. Arguments against universality of human rights are often made by leaders who want to preserve their power or preserve the status quo. It is a self-serving position that fuels injustice. Traditional values are often deployed as an excuse for human rights violations. Traditions, customs, beliefs and cultures have a dynamic nature, they undergo constant change and have to be “negotiated” in all societies
This does not mean that we do not have to incorporate cross-cultural perspectives and a flexible approach to human rights work depending on the context. But universal values such as equality, dignity and justice have to be the basis. This includes defending, respecting and promoting the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, amongst others
Human Rights are the foundation to enable states to ensure that every person can live in dignity and equality, whatever their gender, race, religion, nationality or other status is. Principles such as dignity, equality, respect and solidarity are often in the heart of constitutions, and embodied in national laws and institutions
Defending human rights strengthens fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and the wellbeing of all in a country. Placing human rights in opposition to a state, and stigmatising those defending these principles, putting HRDs at risk of physical attacks and threats to their lives, is a false contradiction. Yet we still see some governments misuse laws and start smear campaigns to silence HRDs and keep them from protesting
HRDs can come from any country and walk of life. They promote human rights and speak out against human rights violations. They could be any one of us
Learn more about defending human rights and who those people are that take a risk to defend their rights and the rights of others