Conversation: New Tactics in Human Rights

By: Jeff Boyd (APF Director)

I invite you to join an on-going conversation about faith and human rights sponsored by New Tactics in Human Rights. This week I am representing the Adventist Peace Fellowship in an open conversation titled, "Supporting Faith Leaders and Faith-Based Organizations as Human Rights Defenders." Fellow conversation leaders represent T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), Danish Institute for Human RIghts, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalization, University of Groningen, and Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Here are some of the questions on the table:

  • What role can faith or faith leaders play in advancing human rights or engaging in human rights advocacy?
  • How can faith help mitigate the seeming tensions between cultural relativism and the universality of human rights?
  • How can faith leaders use their positions in their communities to promote human rights issues?
  • What are some strategies to combat oppression of marginalized groups within your own faith?
  • What are some strategies for strengthening partnerships between faith-based and secular human rights organizations?
  • What are some strategies for strengthening interfaith partnerships?
  • What are some strategies for faith-based organizations serving communities with varying cultural and religious views, without imposing values?  
  • In what situations can a religious-based campaign or project enhance the secular human rights approach?
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If you are not familiar with New Tactics in Human Rights, it was launched by the Center for Victims of Torture in 1999 to "address challenging human rights violations, including torture, that require a strategic approach and a broad range of tactics and collaborations" (CVT).

Here is more, which I've copied from the New Tactics "About" page:

Inspiring and equipping activists to change the world.

We believe that informed and connected citizens are the key to lasting human rights improvements in their communities.

New Tactics helps activists become more effective through strategic thinking and tactical planning.

A program of the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), New Tactics emerged from CVT'S  experience as a creator of new tactics, a leader of coalitions, and as a center that also advocates for the protection of human rights from a unique position – one of healing and of reclaiming civic leadership. Read about the New Tactics team.

Since 1999, New Tactics has created unique resources – organized around the analysis of potential solutions rather than that of specific issues, geographic regions, or target groups – that allow advocates to clearly recognize the unique elements of their situation, and to seek promising approaches that have worked elsewhere in order to apply them to new regions or issues. [more here]

Thank you for joining us for this important conversation, and here are additional conversations you may also wish to engage.