Archive for the 'New Tactics' Category

New Tactics in Human Rights: ‘conversation’ on photography now running!

June 24, 2015

New Tactics in Human Rights is currently having an on-line conversation on “The Use of Photography in Advancing Human Rights“. It lasts until 26 June.

Photography (as images in general) is a powerful tool that can create awareness and effect change. The visual narrative created through photographs can move individuals to a place and understanding of people, geographies, and events that would otherwise be impossible. Used as a tool to document, educate, move, and inform, photographs can be a powerful resource in the efforts of human rights practitioners when used effectively and ethically.

There is even a human rights award for photography in the area of human rights: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/anthropographia-awards.

I have written several posts about the power of images, through the Geneva-based True Heroes Films (THF) [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/true-heroes-films/] and in general [e.g. https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/round-up-of-2014-in-human-rights-images/].

New Tactics in Human Rights.

UK and European Human Rights Convention: soup not eaten as hot as served

May 31, 2015

In a post of 1 October last year [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/human-rights-watch-deconstructs-case-against-uk-withdrawal-from-european-human-rights/] I referred to the rather sad efforts of conservative politicians in the United Kingdom to engineer a withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. I am glad to refer now to a post by Ian Dunt on 27 May 2015 under the title “Cameron surrenders on human rights“.

In short, he says that the Prime Minister now sees that doing this would be politically very difficult and that he has shelved the issue at least until next year. Instead the Government will do another consultation, and – according to Dunt-  “lawyers will tell them what they have already been told: that the UK supreme court is already supreme, that we only have to ‘take account’ of Strasbourg rulings, that the Council of Europe will never tolerate an ‘advisory’ status, that the devolved assemblies will have to have a say on any changes, that the House of Lords will be within its rights to vote it down, that the Commons will probably defeat it and that even if it somehow got it through all those hurdles there’s a stream of legal recognition from Europe which could inject the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law anyway.”

The post contains a lot of interesting details on the inner-workings of the UK parliament and Cabinet and concludes that “in this case, it was a choice between his own inadequacy and the proper functioning of one of the greatest civilising missions in human history. So we should be grateful that, for now at least, his inadequacy won.”

Cameron surrenders on human rights.

Using Video for Documentation and Evidence: on-line course by New Tactics from 21 July

July 7, 2014

Citizen media

(Photo credit: WITNESS, used under Creative Commons)

Kelly Matheson of WITNESS and the New Tactics community organise an online conversation on the Using Video for Documentation and Evidence from 21 to 25 July, 2014. User-generated content can be instrumental in drawing attention to human rights abuses. But many filmers and activists want their videos to do more. They have the underlying expectation that footage exposing abuse can help bring about justice. Unfortunately, the quality of citizen video and other content rarely passes the higher bar needed to function as evidence in a court of law. This online discussion is an opportunity for practitioners of law, technology and human rights to share their experiences, challenges, tools and ideas to help increase the chances that the footage citizens and activists often risk their lives to capture can do more than expose injustice – it can also serve as evidence in the criminal and civil justice processes.

Using Video for Documentation and Evidence | New Tactics in Human Rights.

NEW TACTICS in Human Rights: 2013 accomplishments and plans for 2014

January 3, 2014

We start the year with a little survey of what New Tactics in Human Rights accomplished in 2013: they trained 114 human rights defenders from the Middle East and North Africa [MENA region] on Strategic Effectiveness method and expanded their capacity in the MENA region for training and mentorship for human rights defenders. New material, including 20 new human rights tactics, were added to the website and there is now a French-language landing page. New Tactics also launched an Arabic version of its website and online community. In the Arabic-language community, it hosted 6 online conversations that engaged 60 human rights defenders from around the MENA region. In its English-language community, it hosted 10 online conversation that engaged 153 human rights defenders. Summaries of all of these conversations can be found on its website. In 2014 it will launch its New Tactics Strategy Toolkit, an online collection of tools to help defenders create effective strategies.

via Our 2013 accomplishments & plans for 2014.

Tools for Human Rights Defenders: New Tactics offers on-line dialogue on Being Well and Staying Safe

May 24, 2011

Human Rights defenders are often in a weak position standing up against powerful interests (as this and other blogs often illustrate). Still they are not without their own resources and support as shown by e.g. New Tactics. This organisation, with the help of Jane Barry and other practitioners, is offering an online dialogue on Being Well and Staying Safe from June 22 to 28, 2011: http://www.newtactics.org/en/dialogue/being-well-and-staying-safe-resources-human-rights-defenders.
The nature of their work exposes human rights defenders to distressing and threatening situations.  The need to take care of one’s self is extremely important, as is the need to take care of, protect and support each other.  Human rights defenders cannot be well without being safe.  Likewise, they cannot truly be safe without being well.  Often, security is thought of as a stand-alone concept, rooted in the set, militaristic concepts of war and conflict.  Human rights defenders are defining a new concept of security – one that comes from a feminist and anti-militarist standpoint.  Women in Black have defined security as including: freedom from constant threats, economic security, political security, environmental security, and health security.  How would a new, more integrated and holistic definition of security impact the human rights community?
This online dialogue is an opportunity to further explore the ways in which well-being and security are mutually inclusive for human rights defenders.  This is a space to discuss how these issues and concepts relate to gender, identity, human rights work, budgeting and fundraising.