It’s not personal, human rights defenders side with underdogs

Pigs are paraded outside Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, by activists on May 2013. Civil rights groups were protesting lawmakers' greed. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Human rights, in fact, are about focusing on the underdog and working to turn the power paradigm upside-down.
  • Under international human rights law, norms and standards an assembly is judged to be peaceful are based on the intentions of the organisers.

There is this pervasive but false narrative that suggests that people working in human rights and social justice — whether in NGOs, social movements or the media — must always be neutral or balanced in their critiques of violations and in their analyses.


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