At The Advocates for Human Rights, we envision a world where every person lives with dignity, freedom, justice, equality, and peace.
As this year comes to a close, we know that there is still much to be done to reach that ideal. In 2019, we saw setbacks in asylum policy that put the lives of victims of human rights violations in jeopardy. The administration targeted social safety net programs that keep people afloat in hard times. Universal access to health care is still out of reach. Our partners in other countries are targeted and threatened for speaking up about basic and universally accepted human rights.
We are encouraged by those who have come forward to protect human rights. We are grateful for those who are on the front lines every day, fighting to protect the dignity and human rights of people in this country and around the world.
Nearly every day, people who are frustrated with what is happening contact us and ask what they can do to protect human rights. For the start of the new year, we have come up with a list of suggestions to move us closer to a world where the inherent dignity of every person is recognized and respected.
Here are 20 things you can do in 2020 to support human rights:
- Read and educate yourself about current events and their impact on human rights.
- Attend events and presentations to increase your knowledge of human rights standards.
- Familiarize yourself with groups working on human rights issues that are important to you.
- Donate to an organization that reflects your human rights values.
- Volunteer with an organization that you support. For example, at The Advocates our volunteer opportunities include monitoring court proceedings, investigating human rights conditions and much other meaningful work for volunteers of any background.
- Sign a petition on an important human rights issue.
- Write and call your elected officials to encourage them to protect human rights and to thank them when they do.
- Use social media to support human rights initiatives and educate others about human rights.
- Write a blog post or opinion piece to share your personal experiences with advancing human rights.
- Organize or participate in a demonstration promoting issues you support.
- Ask hard questions about human rights to candidates at all levels of government.
- Volunteer for candidates who ground their campaigns in protecting fundamental human rights principles.
- Vote and actively work to get out the vote on election day.
- Speak up when you hear someone being mistreated.
- Speak up when people are repeating negative stereotypes or making discriminatory comments.
- Start your own positive conversations about human rights issues.
- Recognize your own internal biases and work to overcome them.
- Invite someone to your home whose background or life experience is different from yours.
- Read a book or see a play that expands or challenges your world view.
- Take care of yourself so you are ready and able to respond when opportunities to promote human rights arise.
When you focus on your efforts to advance human rights, you will start seeing opportunities every day to make the world a little bit better.
Happy New Year from all of us at The Advocates for Human Rights!
By Robin Phillips, Executive Director of The Advocates for Human Rights.