Human rights violations can easily stem from a lack of interaction and accustom among diverse social groups. By simulating a library checkout of people instead of books, the human library helps foster respectful dialogue between distinctive individuals and their peers, intending to promote understanding on various lifestyles within any given community. Since the first event in 2000, the human library movement has grown immensely, now having taken place in an estimated 70 nations across every region of the world.
Everyone has the right to music, both as a mechanism of expression and enjoyment. Freemuse, a Copenhagen-based international organization, established March 3rd as Music Freedom Day, in order to advocate for musicians’ right to freedom of expression; to carry out their craft without fear of oppression, imprisonment, or censorship. Since 2007, when Music Freedom Day was launched, more than 100 partners and collaborators in 36 countries have joined the annual event.
Public gatherings or rallies have long been used as a form of protest against autocratic regimes or to draw attention to a particular issue, cause or inequity. Communication through modern technology has made it easier to mobilize people into participating in mass global protests. The main intent behind a mass protest on a global scale is to draw international attention on a particular issue. The following mass global protests provide examples highlighting this tactic to advance such diverse issues as climate change, inequality, and electoral reform.
The Rebel Movement started a signature petition in order to call for the removal of Egyptian then-president Mohamed Morsi.
The Rebel Movement wanted power in Egypt to transition from then-president Morsi to the Supreme Constitutional Court chief judge. To do so, they organized a petition with the goal of collecting 15 million signatures by June 30, 2013, the date which marked one year of Morsi’s rule.
The Change Academy for Democratic Studies and Development and the Arab Network for Civic Education (ANHRE) successfully engaged allies in national government agencies along with local community organizations to advance the right to early childhood education in poverty pockets in Ma’an governorate, South Jordan.
In Lebanon, an LGBT advocacy organisation (not to be named here for privacy reasons) created a Facebook profile with no photo and no friends to safely mobilise people who needed support, community connection and/or wanted to find others interested to advocate for LGBT rights. The profile served as a way to direct people to the organisation's website without threatening their security or anonymity by publicly linking them with an LGBT organisation.
Men submit photos of themselves dressed as women to the “Kurd Men for Equality” Facebook page to support women’s rights.
The police forces of Marivan, Iran, punished a criminal convicted of domestic abuse by forcing him to wear traditional Kurdish women’s clothing. This punishment was meant to be a form of public humiliation. However, many men felt that the punishment was derogatory towards women and began a Facebook campaign to tell the Iranian authorities that “being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone.”
In Cairo, Harassmap uses SMS and mapping technology to identify areas where sexual harassment is likely to occur and partners with local shop owners to create “safe zones” in those areas.
In 1999, the International Centre for Cultures and Languages (Internationales Zentrum für Kulturen und Sprachen) in Austria developed a program that pairs police officers with an immigrant or refugee to foster positive relations between the police force and the foreign-born population. While educating the officers about citizens who they may have held negative stereotypes about, this program also gives the refugees and immigrants an opportunity to communicate with the officers about racial profiling and other racial issues.
For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.