The quality of defenders’ work is intimately linked to security issues. Accordingly, we notice that one of the means used to undermine defenders and bar their work is to discredit them by questioning their professionalism, their independence and their ethics.

To counter these accusations, we must pay due attention to the quality of our reports, publications, communications and adhere to a code of professional ethics.

To improve the quality of our investigation methods and reports

The UKWELI series of Amnesty International
UKWELI is a guide, which clearly lays out Human Rights monitoring, and investigating methods. It was drafted, along with the other publications, which accompany it, in collaboration with African human rights defenders and aims to consolidate and render this sort of work more professional on the African continent and elsewhere in the world.

Booklets accompany the UKWELI principle Guide ; to monitor and investigate:

  • Political Killings
  • Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, detention
  • Sexual violence
  • Death in detention
  • Excessive use of force
  • Human rights violations in the context of armed conflict

On the website of Article 19 you will find the document Monitoring State-sponsored Violence in Africa and other tools.

Many articles and studies on themes related to human rights are published by the International Council on Human Rights Policy. The publications are usually edited in English, but generally a summary in French can be downloaded. See Sections “publications ” and “working papers ”.

See also the website of “New Tactics in Human Rights” which promotes tactical innovation and strategic thinking within the international human rights community. Strategic and tactical thinking, long used by business and military strategists, is an effective means for the human rights movement to expand options and possibilities of what can be done.

To improve the quality of our advocacy

The way in which we communicate influences our work/ association credibility. Several advocacy guides and manual are available on the internet.

An example:

In the context of training for trainers, see the CEPDA : Guide – Advocacy Building Skills for NGO Leaders

To increase our communications with the Media

Good communication with the Media has revealed itself to be a powerful instrument of our work. Establishing privileged relationships with journalists can also help us to highlight the security issues that we face. Journalists who investigate violations of human rights and defenders often encounter the same difficulties.

However, in general, relations between the media and defenders on this matter are complex. See the study of the International Council on Human Rights Policy : Journalism, media and Human rights

Several Guides are available for free on the internet. For example, the media advocacy manual from APHA which focuses on public health (in English) and the chapter dedicated to Media in Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation

See also the NGO Witness website, which trains defenders in the use of video to open to the eyes of the world to human right abuses

Go to the section: What the Media can do to protect the defenders

 

Useful Links 


 

    • Amnesty International

      Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights.

      http://www.amnesty.org/



    • Article 19

      ARTICLE 19 is a human rights organisation with a specific mandate and focus on the defence and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide.

      http://www.article19.org



    • International Council on Human Rights Policy

      The International Council on Human Rights Policy conducts applied policy research on issues that face organisations working in the field of human rights.

      http://www.ichrp.org/


    • New Tactics

      The New Tactics in Human Rights Project, led by a diverse group of international organizations and practitioners, promotes tactical innovation and strategic thinking within the international human rights community. Strategic and tactical thinking, long used by business and military strategists, is an effective means for the human rights movement to expand options and possibilities of what can be done. Innovative tactics are emerging that may more effectively advance human rights and end persistent human rights problems. Many innovations have been valuable, yet are not well known outside their regions.

      http://www.newtactics.org/main.php


    • Witness

      WITNESS is an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy campaigns. Beyond providing video cameras and editing equipment, WITNESS is committed to facilitating exposure for our partners’ issues on a global scale.

      http://www.witness.org