We’ve asked hundreds of advocates why they choose to defend rights. Some of them have mentioned their mothers as key influences. Here are the lessons that shaped their lives.
Click here to read more.
Image above: Upper left: Akila Radhakrishnan. Lower left: Fatimah Muhammad. Upper right: Susan Glisson. Lower right: Larry Cox.
You will need a computer with a working mic (or headphones with a mic), and an internet connection.
Review and submit!
WHO IS A HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER?
If you defend human rights through peaceful means, YOU ARE.
The United Nations, says: "There is no strict definition of human rights defenders because they can be anyone who acts at any moment for any human rights."
A human rights defender can be a man, woman, lawyer, student, an NGO’s employee, a doctor or any person from any profession, of all ages, nationalities, religions, etc.
IF YOU DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS, SHARE YOUR STORY IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS.
IT'S EASY AND ONLY
TAKES A FEW MINUTES
You can re-record as many times as you want
You can remain anonymous
We will not ask you to reveal sensitive information
You can (but don't have to) upload photographs of yourself or your work
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
The "I Defend Rights" project will make audible the voices of hundreds of Human Rights Defenders from every part of the world. By collecting these recordings, the project team will build a massive public audio archive. They are then committed to working with defenders and other partners to disseminate and share these narratives through creative communications strategies. This project will contribute to our shared goal of shifting the global narrative about the thousands of ordinary women and men who promote human rights.
This project helps show how diverse and multiple the human rights community is and how courageous and valuable human rights defenders are in securing rights for all of us, sometimes at great risk. Human rights activists are not enemies of the societies they live in, they are not anti-development or threats to national security as many governments try to depict them. On the contrary, they actively contribute to peace, democracy, and sustainable development. They are agents of positive change. The project will also help us understand why we need to collectively recognize and protect them.
If you peacefully defend human rights, I urge you to take a few moments to sign up at the top of this website. You will then receive an email and be able to respond to a few questions and add your audio recording to this archive and project. It only takes a few minutes.
We are working with numerous partners and colleagues in various capacities.
We are asking our partners to distribute this website to their networks, for example.
Let us know if you would like to be added to this list (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our criteria for accepting, publishing, or sharing submissions
Our goal is to support human rights defenders by recording and sharing audio accounts narrated by them. We believe that, by doing so, we can ultimately help human rights defenders be more successful in their work and safer. We are in strong alignment and agreement with the goals and activities of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. We are committed to human rights for all.
We believe that the amazing contributions of human rights defenders are often invisible or misunderstood by many people in their societies and that they are often unfairly maligned by the powerful.
We are seeking submissions from people who peacefully defend rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by the Core International Instruments of Human Rights. "Human rights defenders must accept the universality of human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A person cannot deny some human rights and yet claim to be a human rights defender because he or she is an advocate for others. For example, it would not be acceptable to defend the human rights of men but to deny that women have equal rights" [Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948. See Fact Sheet No. 2, The International Bill of Human Rights (Rev.1).]. We accept submissions from people defending rights whether or not they are "at risk" or "under threat".
When a participant submits an audio recording, it is not available publicly at first. It needs to be vetted and then published by the project managers.
We hope to publish and circulate the vast majority of submissions that we receive. However, we reserve the right to not publish any submission for any reason, at our own discretion. Stated another way, submitting an audio recording through this project does not guarantee that it will be published. Some of the reasons we may choose not to publish a story, for example, include: that it creates risk or danger for anyone, including the person submitting it, in our judgement; that it is vulgar or inappropriate; that we have reason to believe it is untrue and/or submitted with the intention to deceive of cause mischief; that it mentions other people's names inappropriately or without their prior knowledge or permission; or that it is inconsistent with a full understanding of human rights as defined by the Core International Instruments of Human Rights.
In October 2017, the Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria launched this global project at the Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders. The project seeks to work with partners to help generate a narrative shift about HRDs, one that helps to create an image of HRDs as bold citizens who are standing up for human dignity and rights, sometimes risking their lives to make their societies better.
If you defend human rights, tell us.
We want to record your voice.
I Defend Rights: Shifting the Narrative about Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society Globally is a project of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria.org, in collaboration with numerous partners around the world.
Please join us and record your voice.
There is no need for preparation in advance. We will ask three questions and record (audio only) your answers.
We are collecting audio accounts from human rights defenders to create a global archive of recordings of their experiences working on the front lines defending the rights of others. We then develop multiple ways to share many of these audio recordings with much broader audiences, such as through exhibits and using social media platforms.
If you are curious about what a published recording looks like, see here.
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