5 Ways Human Rights Help Drive Positive Change in Society


No one can disagree that the promotion of human rights is at the core of what it is to be human and live in a society. But can this fight actually continue driving tangible change? Here are five ways in which it does.

Promoting equality

Ultimately, human rights and social justice share the same common mission: promoting equality for all. Exclusion, discrimination and poverty are among the multitude of problems that make social justice a goal so hard to achieve. And those issues are directly contradictoryto the cause of human rights.

The fight for the indiscriminate promotion of human rights has the potential to drive human dignity. How? For example, the right to health should be assured for each and every individual. Health is essential to dignity. In addition, all children and young citizens should equally have access to education.

Fighting discrimination

A major part of promoting equality is fighting against discrimination founded on any type of basis, such as gender, race, nationality, religion, politics, sexual orientation, disabilities, among many others.

Improving social support systems

The systems that ore often described as welfare or social support can be perceived as a safety net. Why? Because those are the programs that are supposed to care for the individuals when they are not able to meet by themselves the needs pertaining to human dignity and equality.

As examples of social support systems, we can mention healthcare, housing, disability allowances, maternity provisions, employment rights, or anti-marginalisation measures. Human rights are at the very core of the social safety net.

Ensuring employment rights

The right to employment is a major cornerstone of a fair distribution of wealth among the citizens, and subsequently, a foundation of the fight for human rights and social justice.

It is necessary that each and every nation implements and improves laws that not only protect workers, but also make sure that each individual has equal opportunity to grant a job and a liveable, dignifying wage.

But the laws surrounding employment rights should not exclusively pertain to equally distributing opportunities.

They should also focus on health provisions, safety measures in the workplace, equal pay for all employees, reasonable working hours, freedom to join syndicates, frequent training, abolishment of any type of harassment, and so forth.

Providing the legal framework for the government to be accountable

Each nation’s government is responsible to play an active role in the pursuing of social justice and human rights. Governments need to step up, defend the citizens and protect the things that matter to them.

In accordance to that, the promotion of human rights also includes the fight to guarantee a legal framework that makes the government accountable and permits individuals to hold the government to that obligation. An accountable state must create and promote the conditions to attain social justice based on human rights.

In summary, human rights and the progress of society need to always go hand in hand, although sometimes one cause is highlighted in detriment of the other.

Understanding Our Basic Human Rights

From Visually.

What You Need to Know About Mediation and Its Role in Human Rights Issues


Mediation is a process that involves multiple parties and can be quite complex. It can be applied to an endless variety of contexts and to a wide range of society issues and human rights disputes.

In many cases, mediation is the best alternative when there is the need to solve a conflict and reach an agreement. Follow along through our guide and discover what the mediation process is all about. It will be clear for you why it is regularly applied to discussions pertaining to society and human rights.

What is mediation?


Mediation is an interactive process through which a third party, that categorically has to be neutral, helps the other parties involved solve a conflict. The mediator does so by resorting to their set of specialized negotiation and communication skills. All of the parties should be active in their participation.

At the core of the mediation process should be the needs, the interests and the rights of the parties. The ultimate goal is not for one of the sides to win and the other to be punished.

On the contrary, a good mediator knows how to take the process in a constructive, positive direction that will allow the participants to find an optimized win-win solution that meets the needs of everyone involved.

The role of analysing issues and the objective reality


In some aspects, the mediator has a rather difficult job. Not only do they need to facilitate the communication and negotiation between both parties, they also need to evaluate the issues in question in an objective manner, and impartially assess when the parties are incurring in any fault.

The mediator also has the demanding role of bringing reality to the table. In any conflict or dispute, the parties that are directly involved tend to analyse the matter in a very emotional and irrational way, which ends up blurring or distorting the reality of the events.

Potentially, each party will insist that they behaved correctly, while also trying to demonize the other party and question their every intention.

When this happens, it’s up to the mediator to keep an objective approach and assure rationality and justice in the discussions. As they are not directly affected by the dispute, it is much easier for them to achieve that, hence the utmost necessity for the mediator to be totally neutral.

Example in human rights


Now that you understand the basics about the mediation process, let’s introduce a hypothetical situation, yet very realistic, that pertains to its use in the solving of a human rights dispute.

Person A works in the marketing department of a company in the United Kingdom and is part of an ethnic minority. Person B is their employer. In the process of launching a new product, the marketing team fails to interpret a key indicator and causes the business to lose considerable money.

When assessing accountability, person B ends up punishing person A more severely than most of the employees that took part in the fiasco.

Person B threatens to fire person A, while person A believes that the action is unjustified and motivated by underlying prejudice.This is when a mediator can enter and try to help find an optimal mutual solution.

Communication is essential in the promotion of human rights. Consequently, mediation can truly be useful as well.

The 3 Best Films About Society and Human Rights


Nowadays, filmmakers have the platform and the resources to not only entertain us, but to make us reach out of our personal bubbles and try to understand the bigger picture in humanity.

Their work allows us to adjust our mindsets, connect with all types of humans and decide to contribute to the necessary changes. Here are three of the best documentaries about various topics of society and human rights.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Mary Dore, 2014

Available on Netflix, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary widely acclaimed by critics and the public. It tackles the history of the feminist movement by telling the stories of the brave and brilliant women who, in the 1960s, inaugurated the modern era of feminism.

For women, this was a time of profound political change that impacted the workplace, the family, and society as a whole. Many of the women’s rights’ activists highlighted in the documentary were even put on the FBI watchlist.

However, modern history has been ignoring their contributions. Watch She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry to discover how they have changed society and the human rights cause.

Human, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2015

What better documentary to include in our list of the best films about society and human rights than the one which explores what it is that truly makes us human?

The breath-taking project was filmed over three years, during which 20 journalists visited approximately 60 nations and interviewed more than 2,000 people. The result makes for a life-changing discovery of the fascinating diversity of the human life.

Human consists entirely of footage from the interviewees speaking directly to the camera and aerial views of the locations. This bold choice creates a dazzling juxtaposition of the beauty in each individual and in our shared planet.

The documentary was the first ever film to be premiered at the United Nations. More than 1,000 people were in attendance, including Ban Ki-Moon, the then Secretary General.

The White Helmets, Orlando Von Einsiedel, 2016

This incredible British documentary follows the lives and the work of a group of rescuers in the Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer organisation commonly known as the White Helmets.

The seemingly never-ending war in Syria has already killed hundreds of thousands of people and made millions more run from the country. Countless people depend on the work of the brave and noble White Helmets, which main goal is to save as many lives as possible.

The documentary film manages to be simultaneously heart-breaking and hopeful, highlighting the power of empathy and humanity in the face of atrocious hate.

Each and every one of these three accomplished documentary films is a must-see for anyone who believes in the equal distribution of rights among human beings and the power of justice to drive progress in all societies across the globe.