Advocacy work involves working with, or on behalf of, other people to seek justice from those in power. Whenever possible, it is better to work alongside people, building up their confidence and knowledge to empower them to claim their human rights. Sometimes, this is too dangerous or difficult for those directly involved and others need to advocate on their behalf.
Human rights are internationally agreed and legally binding agreements. People can advocate by stating the relevant article from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights or more recent agreements, or they can use relevant articles from their country’s laws.
Advocacy can take many forms. It may involve raising local awareness about injustices, writing letters, preparing or signing petitions, demonstrating or striking. Gather detailed facts to support the arguments. Good advocacy work will always focus on just a few clear points and will also provide answers for those in power. Case studies and stories help to bring issues to life. Use local media, posters, newspapers, radio and television to gain maximum impact.
- Read Psalm 82:2-4. How could ignoring injustice and taking no action when bad things happen to innocent people be seen as the same as supporting injustice?
- Who in our community could be described as weak and fatherless?
- Who could be described as oppressed in our community?
- Does this psalm suggest or command that we should take action about injustice? How should we respond?
- What can we learn from other people and groups about how to campaign effectively?
- Are there people suffering injustice in our community that we could work with to advocate for change? What issues require local changes? For example, are children with HIV prevented from attending school? How could we work with them and their families to advocate for changes in attitudes and school policy?
- Are there other issues that might require advocacy work at regional level? For example, are some people unable to access public transport? How could we help them advocate for improvements and change?
Articles 3, 18, 20, 28 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights