Human Rights Approach to Social Justice

Civil society is turning to human rights to secure social, political, and economic objectives they have sought for decades. To strengthen the capacity to use human rights to combat entrenched poverty, discrimination, and injustice, The Advocates for Human Rights developed a training and accompanying manual entitled Discover Human Rights: A Human Rights Approach to Social Justice.

This manual, intended for social justice advocates, provides concrete steps for integrating international human rights principles into their work. The manual helps advocates:

  • Frame issues in terms of international human rights standards; and
  • Identify human rights-based strategies to use.

Almost anyone – social justice organizations, community service groups, human rights advocates, and other members of civil society – benefits from following a human rights approach. It helps:

  • Ensure increased participatory and sustainable solutions to social justice issues;
  • Provide common standards against which to measure domestic policies;
  • Reframe social justice issues as human rights violations;
  • Expand the circle of allies to the larger global human rights community; and
  • Enhance accountability beyond the domestic justice or political systems.

The hands-on training combines short presentations with interactive activities. Participants analyze situations from their own experiences and evaluate how applying a human rights framework would change their approach to solving problems within their community.

The training provides tools, including organizational assessments, case studies, and implementation models, to help organizations create an action plan for using human rights principles. Participants receive copies of the Powerpoint presentations, training manual, and other materials.

The 12-hour training is broken down into three core modules that can be taught in a single intensive two-day training or as separate sessions:

Module 1: International Human Rights (3 hours)
A primer on human rights and the international human rights system that explores the connection between human rights and social justice work.

Module 2: Strategies of a Human Rights Approach (3 hours)
Key definitions, principles, and elements of a human rights approach. Four key strategies for applying a human rights approach are explained in detail, as well as how these strategies affect an organization’s social justice work in terms of planning and actions.

Module 3: Applying a Human Rights Approach (6 hours)
Introduction of practical tools for implementing a human rights approach, culminating in developing a concrete action plan. Each of the tools provided corresponds to the different human rights-based strategies explained in Module 2.

To schedule a training for you organization or group, fill out our online form.