Several organizations around the world dedicate their time exclusively to fighting for human rights. They strive for a better global society where values such as freedom, justice, and equality are universally accepted. Although there are many international organizations, like the World Health Organization (WHO) or The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that take action throughout the world, there are thousands of independent and non-governmental organizations that have the same goal: reach out to those who are suffering discrimination and educate others.
These independent organizations usually emerge due to a specific cause or event that inspires a person or group of people to join together, plan, raise funds and stand up with conviction and courage for their cause. Here are some of these organizations and a short explanation of their origins.
After the genocide of Amazonian natives in 1969, a group of people joined together to fight for their rights and lives. Survival is the only organization in the world that fights for non-contacted natives around the world They speak up for their interests and rights and defend their lands.
Survival headed numerous campaigns and helped native organizations to receive legal assistance, and is currently focused on fourteen remote tribes throughout Asia, Africa, and South America. They receive donations from volunteers, and not from companies or the government. This is an admirable group of people who chose to fight and be the voice of people silenced by ignorance in today’s world.
Mohamed Soltan is an Egyptian-American lawyer who was imprisoned for almost two years after a protest in Egypt. After his release, he and his sister started the Freedom Initiative. The purpose of this organization is to bring attention to political prisoners in the Middle East, with the goal of them being released. They do investigations, submit reports, and hold conferences to give updates on the prisoners.
Mohamed was a first-hand witness to all the suffering and torture the Egyptian government inflicted on innocent people because of their beliefs and ideas. He is an example of resilience.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch began at the end of the 1970s with the creation of Helsinki Watch. It is a group of roughly 450 people from 70 nations who work together to protect the vulnerable. They are experts, professionals, journalists, and lawyers that work together to help.
They work in areas such as exposing and preventing human trafficking, helping in times of crisis and pandemic, and assisting refugees. They also seek to protect women, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
Making a Difference
Just as these organizations grew from a certain incident or personal experience, you can grow your personal beliefs and experiences into something great. All it takes is deciding to be the change and a determination to defend those who cannot defend themselves. You don’t have to be part of any organization; the important thing is to start where you are, do what you can, and start to make ripples in the pond.