Search Past Conversations

Learn from the experiences of human rights defenders by browsing and searching our previous New Tactics Conversations. You can search for a particular topic or geographic region and find human rights defenders you can connect with. Or, see the entire list of topics on one page.

Improving Access to Justice for Children and Teens

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Children encounter unique obstacles to accessing justice mechanisms for seeking remedies to human rights violations. Providing access of justice for children requires “child sensitive mechanisms” that identify their needs and integrates their voices in justice systems. As a result of the challenges children face when accessing justice, The United Nations passed in April 2014 a third optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OP3) enabling children to bring complaints about violations directly to the committee on the rights of the child if they have not found a solution at a national level. Improving access to justice for children can occur by examining the challenges faced by children, the use of alternative dispute mechanisms, collective litigation strategies, tactics to help child victims through the court process and how to use regional and international complaint mechanisms. This conversation took place in October 2014.

Expanding Access to Justice through Community Paralegals

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For many communities access to justice represents a near impossibility because of cost, distance, lack of knowledge and the fear of reprisal. Paralegals utilize rapport and trust to increase access to justice for their clients. Despite possessing knowledge and expertise in the legal field they engage in diverse responsibilities in their communities. They advise elders and community leaders, assist individuals find lodging in cases of domestic abuse and conduct fact finding for remedies to rights violations.

Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools

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Thank you for joining Daniel D’Esposito of HURIDOCS, Enrique Piracés of Benetech and the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Working Safely and Effectively with Documentation Tools held from June 9th to the 13th, 2014.   

Documentation is a crucial aspect of the quest for justice, accountability and transparency. Whether our goal is to raise awareness about an issue, build a case for human rights court or commission, or collect evidence for a criminal proceeding, documenting what happened (or what is happening) is often the first step towards positive change.

The information we are collecting is sensitive by nature. It often includes information about human rights abuses such as victims' testimonies, names of perpetrators, witnesses, and locations. It may include digital evidence like video or images. How can defenders, who are not technologists, ensure that their information is secure? How can defenders reduce their own risk of harm throughout the documentation process? How can defenders make sure that they have the ability to uphold their commitment to safeguarding the information of vulnerable populations?

Transitional Justice in Practice

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Thank you for joining Jasmina Brankovic and Sufiya Bray of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Galuh Wandita and Patrick Burgess of the Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and the New Tactics online community for this discussion on Transitional Justice in Practice that took place on May 12 to May 23, 2014.

Over time, the action and concept of transitional justice has evolved into a method used to promote and implement democracy and sustainable peace. Two examples of transitional justice are truth commissions and institutional reform, however individual acts and processes of transitional justice are utilized differently based on the approaches, countries and the cultural context.

Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms

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Thank you for joining Lisa Reinsberg of the International Justice Resource Center and the New Tactics community for the online conversation on Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms from April 21 to 25, 2014.

Regional human rights mechanisms play an important role in monitoring government compliance with human rights obligations. These courts and commissions provide a way for individuals and groups to hold governments accountable for the failure to protect human rights. In the Americas, Europe and Africa, regional human rights bodies receive individual complaints, monitor and report on human rights conditions, and issue emergency protective measures. These are powerful mechanisms for holding governments accountable for their human rights records if you know how and when to engage them.

Engaging Non Traditional Allies

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Engaging Non Traditional Allies from March 24 to 28, 2014.

In human rights work, sometimes the most impactful partnerships are with allies you wouldn’t expect. Allies outside of what we consider the traditional human rights community can provide additional networks, expertise and skills to your campaign. In Cairo, for example, Harassmap partners with local shop owners to create “safe zones” against sexual harassment. Human rights organizations in Thailand, Liberia and Austria work with police to promote human rights, professionalism and cross-cultural exchange. Partnerships with businesses and police are not traditional, nor are they easy. But the interdisciplinary nature of these partnerships can lead to successful campaigns.

Keeping the Momentum: How to maintain commitment and credibility

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Thank you for joining the Anouska Teunen of Amnesty International Australia and the New Tactics online community for a discussion on Keeping the Momentum: How to maintain commitment and credibility from February 17 to 21, 2014.

Human rights change can take many months, years and sometimes decades to materialize. It requires endurance, of the human rights defenders to continue their advocacy, while maintaining a strong support base with the general public. And even when objectives seem to have been achieved, for example once a country has adopted a new constitution or other legislation, actual implementation can still be a challenge, again requiring for sustained monitoring and scrutiny of civil society groups, who again have to be sure they can count on their support base. This is especially important in countries where authorities attempt to isolate human rights groups as if they no longer have the support of the people they claim to be representing.

This online conversation will be an opportunity for human rights defenders to share their experiences, ideas and challenges with their peers. How are groups maintaining and nurturing the commitment of their supporters over long periods of time? How are groups addressing frustration with their own colleagues, and lost faith, or simply indifference with the general public? How to deal with counter strategies that are used in order to discredit human rights defenders over time? Join us this week to participate in this important discussion!

Building strong human rights partnerships and coalitions

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In human rights work, collaboration is crucial. One organization will not have all the resources and skills to support a human rights movement. So it is necessary to build partnerships and coalitions in order to achieve your goals and build solidarity. However, there are many barriers to collaboration. Many human rights organizations have overarching common aims and visions, but when it comes to working together on campaigns, agreeing on the specific campaign outcomes can be difficult and ineffective. This often leads to fewer opportunities for partnerships and more competition among these groups for campaigning space. Furthermore, finding partners who have the expertise and skills that you need can be challenging (especially when you're not sure what you need!).