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Module 1: Human Rights Defenders

Introduction to the human rights defender; this module covers their abilities, the diverse situations they are involved in, the risks they face, and why they are important in society today.

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Argue for the importance of defending human rights
  • Outline how and why someone becomes a human rights defender
  • Differentiate between the threats that human rights defenders, their families and friends are facing
  • Assess your own context when defending human rights
  • Describe how you can take action to defend your rights and those of others.

Module 2: The Importance of Speaking Up for Human Rights

This module looks into how human rights defenders use their voices to speak out against injustice despite the many risks. Delve into cases from around the world where defenders have spoken out, and obtain practical ideas on how you can take action.

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Identify ways you can use your voice to speak out for human rights
  • Take practical steps to increase your online and digital security
  • Describe to your friends or family how you would like to defend the rights of others.

Module 3: When Human Rights Defenders Work Together

Explore what happens when defenders use their strengths to work together. In this section you’ll develop an understanding of how defenders organize, mitigate the risks associated with peaceful assembly, and move the needle on injustices in their countries.

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Identify and categorize unjust state actions against the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and movement
  • Think creatively to brainstorm ways to take collective action
  • Outline the mental health risks associated with defending human rights.

Module 4: The Right to Defend Human Rights

Introduction to the international, regional, and national mechanisms that are in place to protect human rights defenders. See how nations have responded to human rights issues, and create a plan to effectively voice your concerns to local officials.

At the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Outline the obligations of states for protecting human rights defenders
  • Recognize the negative impact when states do not take responsibility to protect human rights defenders
  • Outline the positive impact when states defend human rights defenders
  • Identify ways you can advocate for governments to increase their protection of human rights defenders.


If you would like to access the infographics from the course, you can download them here.