Progress report on “I Defend Rights” project in 2018

January 4, 2019

In 2018 the Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria continued their partnership on the unique I Defend Rights initiative, an audio archive of hundreds of stories told by human rights defenders. The purpose of this listening project is to commemorate and celebrate the important roles that human rights defenders have by recording, archiving and sharing their experiences and contributions. The platform includes personal accounts of 188 human rights defenders. This are some of the highlights in 2018:

March
We had the first open call for stories on our site (English version).  Within the first three months, over 50 human rights defenders spoke about why they defend rights. These stories were published on the platform and shared on social media. 

May
Official launching of Yo Defiendo Derechos and Je Defénds le Droits, the archives for Spanish and French-speaking communities.

August
We held a sensemaking workshop in New York with key stakeholders and partners including communication experts to analyze a sample of the archive and think about next steps for the project.

September
Our team participated in a community fair at Forum Asia’s 8th Asian Regional Human Rights Defenders Forum in Bali and engaged with human rights defenders from the region

October
We attended the Human Rights Defenders World Summit in Paris and installed our first storytelling booth. With the help of volunteers, we collected 65 stories in three days. 

A HRD recording his message at the HRD World Summit in Paris, October 2018

November 
We collected more stories and created an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo during the Norwegian Human Rights Fund 30th Anniversary Conference. (Listen to the NHRF Conference and the panel on new tools with the participation of I Defend Rights).

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019

The gathering will continue during 2019 with an emphasis on dissemination. Our main channels will be social media, a new website, and an exhibition. We want to do this in collaboration with our partners. We hope to have our new website by February, one that reflects our new image and lets us showcase the amazing stories from so many wonderful human rights defenders on our platform.
We are also joining forces with designers to create an exhibition with the voices of the rights defenders. We will be working with libraries, universities, museums and unexpected venues to reach a diverse audience.

Follow them on twitter and facebook.

https://mailchi.mp/9649638e13d0/happy-new-year-from-the-i-defend-rights-team?e=0c88049d46

One Response to “Progress report on “I Defend Rights” project in 2018”


  1. […] On 15 October 2019, Ernie Suggs, reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the 12th Human Rights Defenders Forum in Atlanta had wrapped up and that former President Jimmy Carter said he’d like to see such defenders honored in a more permanent way at his namesake facility. According to the United Nations, 431 human rights defenders were killed worldwide in 2017. The Carter Center should tell those 431 stories, the former president said. Carter has been calling for the center to increase its presence in the human rights arena. “We ought to have a common place where we can get that information,” he said. “We ought to have a way to communicate with others so that, when people are abused or killed, their stories will be told.” However, there are already some serious projects on this area; see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/07/13/stop-the-killings-you-can-help-front-line/ and https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/01/04/progress-report-on-i-defend-rights-project-in-2018/ […]


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