Major emphasis has been placed on the leading role of parliament in engineering reform efforts under its own dome. This emphasis, while sound in theory, is problematic in practice due to the existing public mistrust and dissatisfaction with parliament's performance. In response, Greyscale Films promoted Jordanians’ right to participate in the country’s governance processes through an innovative online web series called 209 King Hussein Street. Their ultimate aim was to change the views, attitudes and voting habits of Jordanians towards parliament. The series exceeded their expectations in increasing citizens’ knowledge and participation.
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Forearms of Change Center to Enable Community (FOCCEC) is on the forefront of public health advocacy to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and the systemic discrimination against those populations who are “most at-risk”. FOCCEC’s advocacy of “Empowering At-Risk Youth in AIDS Prevention”, focused on men aged 18-40 in Amman, Balqa, Irbid, Jerash, and Zarqa. Over a total period of 24 months, between September 2015 and February 2018, their advocacy resulted in profound impacts with engaged at-risk groups, together with organizations and institutions.
This campaign marked the first time for the Prisoners and their Families Aftercare Center (Edmaj)4 to work on a rights-based issue rather than charity work. This is considered a paradigm shift in the life of Edmaj. This shift emerged as a result of the Edmaj’s participation in the USAID Civic Initiatives Support Program (CIS) Advocacy Support Fund grant process. A primary component of the grant process included an advocacy training using the New Tactics in Human Rights Program’s Strategic Effectiveness Method which facilitates the collective identification of locally-defined priorities. As a result, Edmaj launched the Prisoners’ Rights to Rehabilitation Centers and Reform Upon Release/Amman Governate campaign.
This campaign helped Damj for Communities Empowerment Co. (Damj)4 to work on a rights-based environmental, health, well-being and livelihood issue that helped build trust between civil society organizations, the local community, and the government bodies. This emerged as a result of the Damj’s participation in the USAID CIS Advocacy Support Fund grant process. A primary component of the grant process included an advocacy training using the New Tactics in Human Rights Program’s Strategic Effectiveness Method which facilitates the collective identification of locally-defined priorities. As a result, Damj launched the Agriculture Without Risk/Northern Jordan Valley campaign.
The depletion and destruction of Jordan's irreplaceable cultural heritage by illegal excavations and trade in antiquities has reached an alarming level. This loss is costing the Jordanian people their right to access, enjoy, and participate in their cultural heritage. Culture is fundamental to human dignity and identity. Based in Irbid, Al Masir International Center for Studies Research and Training (Al Masir Center) focused on the legal, social and political circumstances that enable and explain the depletion and destruction of Jordan’s antiquities. As a result, Al Masir Center’s advocacy, Saving Our Cultural Heritage, promoted the preservation of the right to cultural heritage through recommended amendments to the Antiquities Law No. 21 of 1988 and national artifacts inventory and documentation system for museums, for decision makers. These two critical areas can significantly combat the threats posed by the looting and loss of cultural property.
When abuses are hidden, or accepted by members of society, it can be difficult for victims to prove that a human rights violation has taken place. A group in Hungary uses a testing method to provide evidence of discrimination and bring legal cases on behalf of victims.
In India, the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude intervenes physically to rescue child laborers.
The South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) organizes raids and rescue operations to liberate child laborers. A conglomeration of more than 400 human rights groups throughout South Asia, SACCS aims to eradicate bonded and child labor.
In the United States, a national professional organization is increasing its efforts to prevent potential infringements of privacy rights and intellectual freedom by making sure that as few records as possible are kept.
Technology is rapidly changing the world around us, offering new ways for human rights defenders to use new tools to their advantage - machine learning is one of them.
Machine learning is a powerful tool that offers tremendous opportunities in the field of human rights. Machine learning can help us detect patterns of corruption to support advocacy, predict poverty to support policy change, and analyzing evidence of human rights violations for transitional justice. However, with these opportunities that machine learning provides, the same technology also raises significant human rights concerns. Algorithmic biases have the potential to completely change the lives of individuals, as well as reinforce and even accelerate existing social and economic inequalities: flawed facial recognition systems, misclassification of videos documenting war crimes as terrorist propaganda, and racist chatbots.
Our goal as human rights defenders is to distinguish between beneficial machine learning systems from harmful automated decision-making processes in order to minimize the risks and maximize the impact of new technologies in human rights work. A few good practices discussed include: fair and transparent machine learning algorithms, and close collaboration and open conversation with experts from these different fields.
Measuring Success of Advocacy Initiatives
The Center for Victims of Torture’s New Tactics in Human Rights program is working to create a flexible methodology for measuring success in advocacy campaigns. Because of your important work in funding advocacy initiatives, we would like your input early on in the process. We will be asking you about examples and stories that you have from your own work. The following are the kind of questions we will be asking: