Huffpost UK

Campaigners Urged To Adopt Old And New Media To Promote Human Rights Day 2011

Posted: Updated:

In a year that has seen thousands of people out on the streets campaigning for freedom in the Arab Spring, it would seem that the fight for universal human rights is stronger this year than ever.

Now the UN and Amnesty International are launching very two different approaches to campaigning for Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The UN is using the modern Twitter route whereas Amnesty is asking human rights campaigners to remember the power of the traditional letter.

In light of social media's power in the Arab Spring and in organising protests of all kinds throughout this year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be hosting a global conversation on human rights through social media on Friday, 9 December at 9:30am, New York time.

Anyone can send in a question through Facebook or by following #CelebrateRights on Twitter.

However, traditionalists can mark the day in another way. Amnesty International are also launching a 'Write for Rights' their own campaign. In a world of e-mails and social media, Amnesty is recalling the power of the classic, hand-written letter as a way to stop human rights abuses.

A protest stalwart for many years, Amnesty is keen to remind people that the humble letter can still be a force for good in the way that Twitter and Facebook are now so widely recognised to be.

They are asking people to pick up a pen and write a letter of support for cases ranging from a man facing the death penalty in Japan, to a political prisoner in Azerbaijan, to rape victims in Mexico.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK extolled the virtues of the traditional method: "A letter has the power to embarrass, persuade, protect, coerce and force people to alter their behaviour, and ultimately to change the world. If you want to right the wrongs, write about them."

Around the Web

Human Rights Day: 10 December 2011 | Greening the Blue

International Human Rights Day: Human Rights Risk Atlas 2011 ...

International Days — United Nations Observances

Invitation to join global debate on human rights