Modeling Systems and Structures

Influencing Policy to Create Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities

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Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the equal rights of all persons with disabilities to make choices equal to all members of society, and requires governments to take effective steps to facilitate the full enjoyment of this basic right by persons with disabilities. Despite the rights discerned by international law, persons living with disability still continue to be excluded in decision-making processes, requiring many needs that have not been fulfilled.

In order to address these concerns, practitioners both challenged and discussed definitions and language regarding ‘disability,’ applying UNCRDP to international and local dimensions, and difficulties organizations/communities may face in the context of independent monitoring bodies in the New Tactics in Human Rights conversation, “Influencing Policy to Create Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disability.” Furthermore, strategies of creating better advocacy, forming partnerships, and fostering inclusivity in organizations for persons with disabilities were discussed.

Human Trafficking: Victim Related Services

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In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that nearly 21 million people were victims of human trafficking, including approximately 5.5 million children, trafficked primarily into forced labor and sexual exploitation. The need for victim related services is great and, sadly, growing. Victim services range from legal assistance to safe havens; employment training to mental health rehabilitation.

In this conversation summary, resources, approaches and examples were shared to assist practitioners fighting against human trafficking. Conversation leaders discussed communication and institutional barriers to providing services to trafficked persons.

Intersectional Human Rights Organizing: A Strategy for Building Inclusive and Transformational Movements

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Although the terminology may be new to some, intersectionality is not a new concept. As long as people have faced multiple threats to their dignity and humanity, they have experienced intersectionality. But it is U.S.-based Black women, other women of color, and women of the global south who have developed our present understanding of how our social identities—race, gender, class, sexuality, etc. function; how the systems that maintain these identities—racism, sexism, capitalism, heterosexism—work together to compound our oppression; and, therefore, how we must work collectively to eradicate these systems. Thus, intersectionality not only boldly claims the value of the lives of marginalized and oppressed peoples by centering our experiences and strategies, but asserts the need to work collaboratively towards our collective liberation.

Empowering Women in Political Participation and Leadership

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At the local and community level all the way to the highest levels of government, women are often underrepresented in leadership positions, left without a voice in decision-making and ignored as an electorate. Women hold only 22 percent of national parliamentary positions globally. This means that women are underrepresented in all facets of the political process often due to social-cultural barriers, the absence of training and resources for women’s political organizing, standards of living and precarious economic challenges.

The Voice of Youth: How Youth Can Take on a Critical Role in Human Rights Advocacy

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Young people make up an ever-growing portion of the world’s population. As of 2014, the number of youth, ages 10-24, rose to nearly 1.8 billion, or slightly less than 25 percent of the world population. As youth compose a greater share of the population, questions emerge about the role youth will play in addressing the issues relevant to their future. Empowering youth to engage and take an active role in advocacy can play a critical role in societal change and improving human rights. Thus, organizations increasingly seek new ways to engage youth in civil society.

New Tactics in Human Rights through its online conversation, The Voice of Youth: How Youth Can Take on a Critical Role in Human Rights Advocacy, discusses ways how youth are involved in social change, address the challenges to their interests and the role of human rights organizations and practitioners in empowering youth.

Reconciliation Post-Conflict: Approaches, Practices and Realities

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Daily headlines around the globe portray the numerous conflicts that arise as a result of heated points of contention. Seemingly disparate ideologies, unequal distribution of resources, political, ethnic, cultural and religious differences can all be contributing factors in the emergence of conflict between groups. In the aftermath of conflict, what role can reconciliation play as a path forward; toward healing, peaceful relations, improved communication and functioning societies?

Where does the process of reconciliation begin, with whom and when? These questions and more were discussed in New Tactics in Human Rights Conversation - Reconciliation Post-Conflict: Approaches, Practices and Realities. This online conversation sought to identify the role of reconciliation in post-conflict environments. Practitioners shared experiences, lessons learned, approaches, and challenges with the reconciliation process from the perspective of reconciliation efforts around the world.

Using village strengths to combat child labour and other exploitative practices: Building Child Friendly Villages

Combating child labour requires programme interventions that are comprehensive with a holistic approach that not only targets children, but also their families and communities, the recruiters, traffickers and exploiters, government officials, and society at large. There are millions of out-of-school children who have the potential to join the soaring numbers of child labourers. Efforts need to be made to prevent the entry of the non-child labourer into the labour market which fuels illiteracy, unemployment and poverty.

Creating Safe Spaces: Tactics for Communities at Risk

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Thank you for joining the New Tactics community for an online conversation on Creating Safe Spaces: Tactics for Communities at Risk from March 11 to 15, 2013.

Sometimes, in order to make the change we seek to be realized, we need to model it so that the community can experience it for themselves. Creating a safe space in which everyone’s rights are recognized and respected gives communities at risk the opportunity live without fear of persecution or abuse. Creating this space also allows the vulnerable group to understand and experience the realization of their human rights, and giving them and the broader community a vision to work towards.

This online conversation is an opportunity for practitioners to share their examples, experiences, challenges and ideas around creating safe spaces for groups at risk and build communities that put human rights into practice.

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