Around the world, people suffer from a lack of basic human rights. Although you live far away, you can still help those on the other side of the globe who are being persecuted. Here are some ways to get involved.
1. Understand the Meaning of Basic Human Rights
Mohamed Soltan, a former prisoner in Egypt, is now a human rights advocate. He advises everyone to understand the basic human rights to which every global citizen is entitled. All people have the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest. They are entitled to freedom from torture and slavery as well as discrimination. Every person also has the right to religious freedom.
2. Volunteer Your Time and Donate
Look for nonprofits supporting global human rights. Find an organization that has goals and beliefs similar to yours. Do research online as well as search social media and think about what type of volunteer work you’d like to do. Volunteer at a few different organizations before choosing the right one for you.
3. Listen to Survivors
When survivors of totalitarian regimes speak in public forums, attend and listen to them. Buy and read books about refugees from war-torn countries. Make it a point to be aware of the hardships some people in other countries endure. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to fighting for human rights.
4. Insist on Buying Fair Trade
Fairtrade products are items that are grown or produced by those who receive fair compensation for their labor. It may mean paying a higher price, but you’ll be supporting sustainable businesses and potentially helping the environment. Be especially diligent in looking for these fair trade products:
- Cotton clothing
- Spices and herbs
Look for products that are labeled fair trade in supermarkets and local stores. If you don’t see any, ask your store manager to provide them.
5. If You See Human Rights Being Violated Locally, Report It
Human rights are often violated in other countries, but these violations happen locally as well. Document such violations by either recording them on your cell phone or by writing them down. Take note of the time and date of the violation as well as where it happened. List all of the facts and then report this violation to the police or other organization.
6. Talk to Politicians and Other Political Leaders
Politicians can bring about change, but they likely won’t take action unless they realize how much constituents care about these issues. Write a letter or send an email to your representative. Be clear about what the issue is and what you want your representative to do. Try to be factual rather than emotional about the issue.
Wait a week and then follow up with a phone call. Ask if you can meet your representative. If you do get that meeting, once again state your case and ask the politician to take a specific action.
You may think you don’t have a voice, but you can have a powerful impact on those around you. Get started today. You’ll be amazed by the results.