Take Action: Shaping our societies to be more inclusive

This part of the course will provide you with guidance that will help you to come up with initiatives and activities you can use to promote a more participatory society.

STEP 1. Identify an issue

Start by identifying issues affecting free participation in your society. What is wrong and what needs to change? What human rights are involved? Which rights are being affected?

  • Why does this issue occur?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to making your society more inclusive?

Some of the issues you can reflect on include:

  • Electoral systems that exclude certain individuals or groups
  • Buildings structures/systems that do not take care of people with disabilities
  • Government projects that are set up without consultation and despite the community disagreeing
  • Denial of forming associations
  • Censorship or political systems leading to self-censorship
  • Infringements on the freedom of press

Here are some examples that will help you identify issues affecting your society:

  • Watching the news
  • Following cases on social media
  • Reading newspapers and magazines
  • Researching facts online
  • Participating in political meetings
  • Reaching out to civil society organizations

STEP 2. Identify key influencers

As a next step reflect on: Whom do you need to persuade or work with to bring about change? What action could you take? Who can help sort out this issue?

Below are some of the people who can have power at local, national and global levels. Can any of them help you sort out your chosen issue?

  • Local politicians
  • The government and other political parties
  • NGOs and other human rights defenders
  • The media
  • Social media Influencers

STEP 3. Pick your action

Here are some examples of actions you could take:

Lobby and persuade
Influence a politician through social media or meet up in person to advocate for a change in law or policy. Write a letter to the people who are responsible persuading them to help you.

Rally supporters
A large number of people coming together can use their voices to stop oppression of minority groups and exclusion of people due to their backgrounds. Some of the ways to achieve this are by writing action letters, setting up petitions, emails, phone calls and tweets on emergency cases of human rights abuses around the world.

Collect evidence
Collect evidence through research, (e.g. interviews, videos) and present your findings, with their consent, to people who are responsible for this issue or share your findings with NGOs.

Organise demonstrations
Organise to carry out peaceful demonstrations when human rights violations are occurring.

Address authorities
Approach state authorities and make them aware of the rights being violated. Refer to human rights documents that can help you support your case. Invite your local representative in Congress or another person in a position of authority for Q&A session on the issue

Contact a lawyer
Lawyers and human rights defenders will be in a position to give you legal advice on how to go about cases affecting exclusion in the society.

You can now choose one or more of the actions below or think of your own action that you can engage towards creating a participatory society.

Discussion

How do you plan to contribute towards building a more inclusive society?

Inspire others by sharing ideas.

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This article is from the free online course:

Defending Dignity: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Amnesty International