Join NHC’s Human Rights Defence Team during this year’s Just Peace Month for a webinar on the NHC’s international storytelling video campaign, set to launch later this year. With support from the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NHC is putting together 8 campaign videos featuring stories of everyday human rights defenders like your or me, who stood up against injustice. The campaign will feature stories from Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Poland, and the Netherlands. Come find out more about these stories, learn about the campaign, and watch a sneak preview of one of the videos!
Tuesday, 13 October 2020. 1530-1700 CEST.
Human rights and human rights defenders are increasingly under attack, including across the OSCE region. Illiberal democrats and populists both in the East and in the West equate human rights with minority issues and public controversies. Human rights defenders are negatively portrayed, for example as antigovernment,” “spies for the West,” or as “terrorists”. This framing affects the support they receive when defending the human rights violations suffered by ordinary citizens. And yet, while human rights are universal and apply to all humankind, the respect for, and guarantee of, human rights is not applied equally in all parts of the world. A lack of awareness and informed understanding of human rights – to whom and how they apply – is partly responsible for this inequality. In order to build a strong foundation for ensuring human rights are upheld, the general public must be informed about human rights – and about the very real risk of those rights being arbitrarily violated if one looks the other way. Human rights are relevant to all citizens, and all citizens can take a stand to defend those rights. The work of human rights defenders – whether “professional” or ordinary citizens – also needs to be contextualised as a universal mission to ensure just and dignified societies; as something that is relevant to every human being on this planet. Once the public perceives the work of human rights defenders in such a way, we can expect more support for their work. To counter the negative framing that undermines the respect for human rights and the rule of law, and the work of those that seek to defend human rights, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) is undertaking an international video storytelling campaign: “Winning Public Support for Human Rights Defence”.
The 8 stories will help to demonstrate that human rights are relevant to every citizen; that no matter where you live, no matter what your background is, they make a positive difference to your life.
Kirsten Meersschaert – Netherlands Helsinki Committee Human Rights Defence team
Antanina Maslyka – Netherlands Helsinki Committee Human Rights Defence team
With thanks to our local partners and with the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Short video documenting the meeting with our local partners in Kyiv in February 2020: