Reclaiming the debate on human rights

A high level event “Beyond jargon: reframing our communication on human rights” was organised on 6 March 2018 on the margins of the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, EU Fundamental Rights Agency, ENNHRI and GANHRI, the objective was to discuss what can be done to make human rights popular again and to reclaim the debate in times of increasing populism and scepticism.

Watch the seminar here.

Joint Statement

A joint statement was published by the organisers who committed to improving their public communication to successfully promote and protect human rights. Therein, they recognised the challenges inherent to communicating about rights and commited to take a critical look at their own work and how they can effectively communicate about the importance of human rights, redoubling efforts to listen and reach out to the critics and the indifferent.

We call on all human rights defenders and supporters, national, regional and international human rights structures, civil society representatives, governments and policy makers, media, academia and business groups to work together to contribute to better representation, communication and understanding of human rights values across the globe; and we pledge to work harder and improve the way we reach out to people, in order to build a broader and stronger support for human rights and make the promise made 70 years ago a reality for all.

Joint statement: International organisations commit to building broader support for human rights


Equinet Participation

Framing Equality: Communication Handbook for Equality Bodies (2017) Equinet Executive Director Anne Gaspard was present at the meeting, and had the opportunity to briefly present Equinet’s recent findings about communicating equality, based particularly on our recent Handbook on Framing Equality.

Her key messages focused on the fact that we can reclaim the debate on human rights by using values-based messaging and positive framing to create a more equal and accepting Europe. By engaging and strengthening the intrinsic values of universalism, benevolence and self-direction, national equality bodies and other organisations can actively work to bring to the fore the sense of respect and care for others that every person already holds within them.

By appealing to the values that underpin human rights and equality – such as freedom, dignity, respect and autonomy – and making equality and human rights relevant and real for your audience is key for any communication strategy championing equality and human rights.

Beyond jargon: High level speakers, Equinet publications, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižniek together with Anne Gaspard
Beyond jargon: High level speakers, Equinet publications, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižniek together with Anne Gaspard

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