Kumasi, Ghana - July 21, 2007: African kids smiling a the camera in the  village of Kumasi .Ghana

Getting involved in human rights efforts


There are a myriad of ways you can get involved in work concerning human rights around the globe. Exactly what you can do will depend on how much time you have to spend, whether you are available to travel, and of course which other personal and professional skills you might have.

How much time do you have?

If you’re thinking of getting your feet wet, there are many opportunities for doing part time volunteer work for organizations around the world, and as many things can be done remotely, you won’t necessarily need to travel at all to begin your involvement. The first thing you can do is to give your support to, and work with human rights campaigns. This could mean joining a site like, for example, Amnesty International. You can start by reading their articles and then spreading the information that they provide through their campaigns.

If you want to take it one step further, there is much more volunteer work to be done, and some of it can be done online. The larger human rights organizations will recruit volunteers for specific tasks, and they can be things like translations, monitoring of international press sites online, as well as work through online communities. There is also volunteer work to be done on site in countries that struggle with a lack of human rights. But beware of voluntourism stings that not only don’t do what they promise, but that also can be detrimental to real development.

Going all in

Multicolor handprints on a white background. Alternative version shown below:

For those who are fully motivated there is also the chance of making a career out of human rights. It might not mean fame and fortune, but there is a lot of good to be done. Whether you choose to go into international law, work on site as part of an engineering team, a medical team or similar group, or whether you choose to go with an even more experience-based approach, you will have a wide range of options. If you are having some trouble finding out where to start, there are great training courses available online that can help you better understand human rights issues, learn more about what needs to be done, and where and how you can best contribute.

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