Online Conversation: Powerful Persuasion: Combating Traditional Practices that Violate Human Rights
This conversation is an opportunity for practitioners and researchers involved or interested in the power of persuasion tactics to share their experiences, questions, challenges and ideas.
Traditions and rituals are often supported by strongly held cultural beliefs. The deep roots of traditional cultural practices can make it very difficult to change behaviors that are harmful and violate the human rights of a community or individual. Often, the key to this kind of cultural shift is respectful, patient, community-led persuasion to create movements for change.
In Ghana, it may have taken 10 years to change the harmful practice of Trokosi (taking young girls as slaves to atone for the bad deeds of a family member), but a coalition of organizations and community leaders were able to free thousands of girls and abandon this practice in hundreds of communities. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Tostan and their partners engaged communities to learn about the harmful health impacts of Female Genital Cutting (FGC), educate men and women about their rights, and discuss how to prevent these health problems in the future. So far, over 6,500 communities from Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia and The Gambia have publicly declared their decision to abandon both FGC and child/forced marriage. Rather than blaming or criticizing, these groups encourage dialogue around these practices and their impacts on the development of local communities.
The Conversation is an open, public forum for human rights defenders to discuss their experiences advancing a human rights strategy and implementing a particular tactic. These conversations allow participants to:
- Reflect on their work by sharing their experiences
- Learn from others’ experiences and find new tactics
- Connect with new allies and create new networks and communities of practice
About New Tactics in Human Rights -
Since 1999, the New Tactics in Human Rights project has created unique resources—organized around analysis of potential solutions rather than that of specific issues, geographic regions or target groups—that allow activists to clearly recognize the unique elements of their situation, and to seek promising approaches that have worked elsewhere and apply them to new regions or issues. It also improves activists’ ability to combine diverse tactics into complex strategies.