Human rights advocacy
Advocacy is generally defined as a series of actions and activities that aim to promote an opinion, a cause or the status of a group of people in order to influence and positively change public policy and public opinion. The fight for enforcing human rights and combatting impunity and corruption either involves advocating in favour of legislative, political, and institutional reforms that comply with international human rights standards, or fighting against norms, practices, or measures that are discriminatory or breach these international standards.
What purpose does advocacy serve?
Human rights advocacy focuses on civic engagement, including the participation of women, at institutional or community level. As such, the aim of human rights advocacy is to make sure voices of underprivileged segments of the population are heard and are taken into account by decision makers.
High-level advocacy activities aim to tackle impunity and corruption, and the root causes of inequality, injustice, and poverty. Given its power to effect change, advocacy provides a means to address deeply embedded prejudices and discriminatory practices against women and people in a situation of vulnerability.
What does advocacy look like in practice?
In order to act as a driving force among State authorities and encourage them to take adequate measures to uphold the right to truth, justice, and reparation, civil society organizations that defend victims need to be able to support their arguments and present them to the State and before relevant regional and international bodies in an effective way. To do that, they need to have access to appropriate tools. What makes LWBC’s advocacy work so distinctive is the fact that it focuses on the legal basis and on the standards that govern dialogue between civil society and the State, between international bodies and States, and between States.
Advocacy can involve various activities, including drafting recommendations on legislative proposals to be submitted to public authorities, analyzing case law to leverage the capacities of our partners, producing legal documentation to serve as a basis for civil society actors in implementing awareness campaigns, etc.