A growing segment of civil society is turning to human rights to secure social, political, and economic objectives that they have sought for decades. To strengthen the capacity of all organizations to use human rights to combat entrenched poverty, discrimination, and injustice, The Advocates for Human Rights has 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. First, this manual helps advocates frame the issues on which they work in terms of international human rights standards. Next, the manual helps advocates identify human rights-based strategies they can use to ensure these rights are fulfilled for all people.

Almost anyone – social justice organizations, community service groups, human rights advocates and other members of civil society – can benefit from following a human rights approach. It helps ensure more participatory and sustainable solutions to social justice issues, provides common standards against which to measure the shortcomings of domestic policies, reframes social justice issues as human rights violations, expands the circle of allies to the larger global human rights community, and enhances accountability beyond the domestic justice or political systems.

This hands-on training combines short presentations with interactive activities, including large group discussions, small group work, and role plays. Participants will 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 such as organizational assessments, case studies, and implementation models to help organizations create an action plan for using human rights principles in their own operations and advocacy work. As part of the training, participants will receive copies of the powerpoints, training manual, and all other materials for their own use.

The 12-hour training is broken down into three core modules that can be taught in a single intensive 2-day training or as separate sessions:

Module 1: International Human Rights
(3 hours). This module is a primer on human rights and the international human rights system and also explores the connection between human rights and social justice work.

Module 2: Strategies of a Human Rights Approach (3 hours). This module sets out the key definitions, principles, and elements of a human rights approach. Four key strategies for how to apply 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). This module introduces practical tools that can be used to implement a human rights approach, culminating in the creation of a concrete action plan. Each of the tools provided corresponds to the different human rights-based strategies explained in Module 2.