United States

Engaging religious leaders in a conversation about inclusion, and implementing non-violent direct action tactics

Soulforce Inc. uses dialogue and non-violent direct action to make local and national religious institutions more inclusive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) members. GLBT members carry out this work, attempting to engage religious leaders in a conversation about inclusion, and creating non-violent direct action tactics when negotiations fail.

Engaging civil society and international allies to build a united front to lobby for legal amendments

The Iraqi Civic Action Network (ICAN) led a large civil society movement by engaging national and international stakeholders to put pressure on the Iraqi parliament to integrate amendments agreed upon by the broad alliance to the law on the establishment and functioning of Iraqi non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As a result, a second draft law, based on the recommendations of the civil society organizations and reviewed by the parliament was sent to the president to integrate the suggested recommendations.

Training migrant men and women farmworkers for family violence prevention in migrant farmworker communities

Migrant farmworkers experience more health problems, including family violence, than the general United States population. Yet healthcare workers have few culturally - and linguistically - appropriate educational materials and even less data on the prevalence of domestic violence among migrant farmworker women.

Encouraging passage of local government resolutions to influence national policy

Prior to 2003, Cities for Peace, a coalition of local elected officials and concerned community members, worked to get City Councils and other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a US led war on Iraq. Although the group focuses on the anti-war effort, this tactic has also been used to show local opposition to a variety of federal actions, such as investment in apartheid and the curtailment of civil liberties under the Patriot Act (2001).

Developing electronic advocacy groups to influence government on issues of peace and social justice

MoveOn creates electronic advocacy groups to influence government on issues of peace and social justice. It is a grassroots organization aimed at involving ordinary people in politics in order to narrow the gap between public opinion and legislative action. With a network of over 600,000 “online activists,” MoveOn helps busy but concerned citizens find their political voice by organizing “electronic advocacy groups” around issues such as campaign finance, environmental and energy issues, impeachment, gun safety, and nuclear disarmament.

Creating a database tool that protects human rights information from confiscation

Human rights groups can now use internet technology in order to help collect, organise, safeguard and disseminate information about human rights violations. The Martus Human Rights Bulletin System is a database tool that addresses the specific technological needs of the human rights community by dramatically improving their ability to manage information, document abuses and prevent the information from being confiscated or destroyed.

Creating a convenient delivery system for legal aid

Florida Rural Legal Services collaborates with local library systems in four rural counties to create a convenient delivery system for legal aid and community information to low-income people. A combination of video cameras, scanners, printers and Internet connections enable an individual to consult with a legal advocate as easily as if the visit were in the lawyer’s office. The equipment can be controlled remotely by the attorney or paralegal, so the individual does not need to understand the technology. Documents can be exchanged, so both parties are viewing the same information.

Using the emotional power of a historic site and personal stories to raise awareness of current human rights questions

Recreating an 1897 apartment and dressmaking shop, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum brings together representatives from conflicting sectors of the garment industry to discuss what needs to be done — and by whom — to address the problem of sweatshops today.

Training organizations to place their social justice work into the context of human rights, thereby providing advocates with a new set of tools and access to new alliances

The National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) trains organizations in the United States to frame social justice issues as human rights issues. While many organizations in the United States work on social issues, few think of their work in terms of human rights.

Protecting cultural and economic rights of indigenous people by recording traditional ecological knowledge

The Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has created an online searchable database of traditional ecological knowledge to prevent private companies from patenting that knowledge. The Traditional Ecological Knowledge Prior Art Database (T.E.K.*P.A.D.) is located at ip.aaas.org/tekpad.

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