Social Responsibilities of Human Rights Activists

Human rights activist is a term that describes individuals who work to protect and promote issues concerning human well-being. Human activists may work as a group or as individuals. They address the issues under human rights on behalf of certain group(s) of people in the society.

What Human Right Activists Do?

They seek realization and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights of people. The concerns of human right defenders may include female genital mutilation, summary execution, employment issues, health care, discrimination, environment pollution, forced evictions, and arbitrary arrests among other. The activists are active in support and defense of human right to life, water, food, education, non-discrimination, and nationality. Besides, human rights defenders address economic, social and cultural issues affecting specific groups of people in the society, for instance, rights of children, women’s rights, the rights of the indigenous people, rights of the internally displaced persons, refugees, sexual minorities or national linguistic rights.

Where to Find Them

The human rights activists are found everywhere in any part of the world. For instance, their presence is heavily felt in countries divided by internal conflicts, non-democratic states, and democratically stable countries. They ensure protection of human rights in context challenges such as policy structural adjustments, HIV/AIDS, migration, and political transitions.

Local, Regional, National, and Global Activists in Action

Majority of the activists operate at local or regional level protecting the rights of the people within their regions or communities. In such scenarios, the main counterpart is usually the local or regional authorities, who are responsible for maintaining respect and protection of human rights within the locality. However, there are human rights defenders who work at international level. Such defenders, like Yeonmi Park, monitor a globally renowned human rights situation and submit their research to a global human rights protection bodies such as United Nations Human Rights Council.

Yeonmi Park grew up in a repressive country of North Korea, where she drew all her inspirations. She witnessed massive innocent killing and the arbitrary arrest of her father under the ruthless dictatorship of the rulling government in her country. Fearing for their life, their family escaped to South Korea where they found freedom. The memories of the mental, economic, and social slavery experienced while at their native country inspired her to become the voice and face of the voiceless she is today. She has addressed several forums touching on the needs of embracing human rights for all especially her native country North Korea.

The defenders collect information about cases where human rights have been violated. They attract the attention of the key judicial, political officials as well as the public to their reports using lobbying techniques to ensure the violations are addressed. Alternatively, the human rights organization may publish their findings on national magazines or newspapers to achieve the same results.

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