Embrace Globalisation for Human Rights
Thursday, 28th February 2019, 14:00 pm
When I went abroad for the first time and saw people facing circumstances in their lives (in Haiti) that were drastically more difficult than any I had ever known, I felt helpless.
I could barely describe what I was seeing, let alone convince people who hadn’t experienced it to take some action. I snapped some photos, had those photos developed a few weeks later, and wrote a handful of letters to friends about what I’d seen.
It may have been cathartic for me, but it did no one there on the ground any good at all.
Today, 30 years later, everything is different. Humanity is connected around the world like never before, and that means we can be in touch with human rights abuses around the world more too. We have more access to more information as it’s happening; we are surrounded by powerful images and video from every corner of the earth every minute; and we can act more, in our personal communications and in our everyday decisions, both of which can also have global reach.
Every single piece of information we share and every purchase we make can link us to people and places - whether near or far away - where abuses are taking place, where people’s rights are being undermined, and we have at our fingertips the tools necessary to educate ourselves and take actions more in line with our values.
One of the key challenges for human rights activists today is to get people to recognize this – to not take the interconnectivity of globalisation for granted, but to embrace it and engage it in the service of improving people’s lives wherever they live.