What We do

CHRI Releases Updated Human Rights Advocacy Guide

Sep 29, 2016 Download File

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) today released an updated handbook on human rights advocacy in the Commonwealth. Our last edition was published in 2005.

We work slowly but surely…

That said, this recent handbook comes at a time when civil society is fast diminishing across the globe. Human rights trampled upon remain in the dust; most recently in the Maldives as CHRI has pointed out.

In 1991 CHRI released its very first report Put Our World to Rights, it listed as priorities rights relating to Detention, Freedom of Expression, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, Refugees, Women, Children, Workers and Trade Unions, and the Environment, all of which remain serious issues of concern in at least parts of the Commonwealth, and to which we must in 2016 add as a priority the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Commonwealth citizens. Progress has been made, but there is so much more advocacy to be done!

This handbook is not a guide on how to design and implement an effective advocacy strategy there are already many excellent ‘how to’ guides in circulation. It is a guide on ‘why’ and ‘where to’ advocate within a Commonwealth context

When the first handbook, Human Rights Advocacy in the Commonwealth: A User’s Handbook was released in 2005, Sir Don McKinnon was Secretary-General and things seemed to be moving in a positive direction for civil society access to and within the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the ten years that followed saw the space for civil society shrink. In the last two years the situation has improved, especially for Accredited Organisations, but this has for the most part only recovered the previous decade’s losses.

We hope civil society organisations across the Commonwealth will find this guide useful in advocating human rights in their countries.