Skip to main content


Women's Rights are Human Rights: United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner
This publication provides an introduction to women’s human rights, beginning with the main provisions in international human rights law and going on to explain particularly relevant concepts for fully understanding women’s human rights. Finally, selected areas of women’s human rights are examined together with information on the main work of United Nations human rights mechanisms and others pertaining to these topics. The aim of the publication is to offer a basic understanding of the human rights of women as a whole, but because of the wide variety of issues relevant to women’s human rights, it should not be considered exhaustive.
Resources for Human Rights Defenders from The Advocates for Human Rights
The Advocates for Human Rights organization has compiled a document of resources for Human Rights Defenders (last updated 2014). This document includes resources related to emergency grants, advocacy tools, inter-governmental mechanisms, and regional networks.
Resources for Human Rights Defenders from Human Rights First
Human Rights First maintains a list of resources for human rights defenders who are facing security threats because of their work. This compilation includes information about emergency funds, fellowships, human rights awards, training opportunities, and guidelines for embassies and missions on the protection of human rights defenders.
A Dangerous Enterprise: Development Finance and the Fight for Human Rights
Written by Gretchen Gordon, Coordinator of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development
Online Security for Human Rights Defenders
Abeer Pamuk of Atlas Corps, Nighat Dad of Digital Rights Foundation, and RuthAnna Buffalo of Honor the Earth and Sacred Pipe Resource Center talk about online activism and cybersecurity for human rights defenders.
Unsung Heroes: Human Rights Defenders
Human rights defenders are increasingly under attack for their courageous efforts to challenge abusive behavior by governments and corporate interests. Since 2015, more than 1,000 defenders have been killed for their work, and many more face retribution and persecution. Dec. 9 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, a document that The Carter Center helped craft that acknowledges the vital role played by frontline activists in the struggle for human freedom. We celebrate this anniversary by honoring the bravery of those who put their lives on the line so that all of us can live in freedom. "Heroes" Performed by Peter Gabriel Written by David Bowie / Brian Eno Used with Permission CREDITS The Carter Center would like to thank the following people/organizations for providing images for this video. Washington Office on Latin America: Front Line Defenders: Protection International: Freedom House: Alaa Abd El-Fatah [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons: Maria Tan, CBCP News website: Goldman Environmental Prize: Luke Duggleby Photography: Creative Commons License:
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 adopting the Declaration on human rights defenders
Harmonizing Religion and Human Rights
December brings the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a United Nations document that lays out an individual’s inalienable rights. To mark the occasion, a panel of religious leaders will explore what the scriptures of some of the world’s major religions have to say about human rights. How can we align religious life with human rights? What role should spiritual leaders play in promoting human rights? And what can everyday people of faith do to defend human rights and encourage mutual respect between people of different religions? #FaithANDHumanRights Moderator: - Karin Ryan, the Carter Center's senior advisor on human rights and special representative on women and girls Panelists: - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter - Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T'ruah, the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights - Imam Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
What Can The U.S. Do To Reduce Human Rights Abuses In Post-Soviet Countries?
Melissa Hooper of Human Rights First calls on the United States to speak out and maintain leadership to counter human rights abuses following a meeting with Senator Bob Corker in Washington, D.C.
Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018
PARIS - OCTOBER 29-30-31, 2018 PALAIS DE CHAILLOT | ESPACE NIEMEYER The Human Rights Defenders World Summit 2018 will bring together a diverse group of 150 HRDs from around the world, for three days of meetings, panel discussions, networking and workshopping. These HRDS who are at the forefront of the struggles for social, political and environmental changes will have the opportunity to connect, work and debate together and engage with regional and international human rights organisations, global leaders from governments, the United Nations, and the private sector.
Human Rights, Elections & the Role of Civil Society in Challenging Times
The Democracy Program of The Carter Center held the Human Rights and Election Standards conference at the Center on Dec. 4-5, 2017. During this conference session, roundtable participants discussed the role of civil society in promoting human rights and credible elections in a global climate of increased democratic disaffection and closing civic space.
The New Dissidents: Human Rights Defender and Counterterrorism in Russia
Archana Pyati and Michael McClintock offer a comprehensive overview of human rights infringements and terrorism in Russia. This includes discussion of specific ways to support human rights defenders, and the U.S. role in the nation.
Under the Knife: Human Rights and Inequality in the Age of Austerity
Published by Civicus. Written by Ignacio Saiz and Luke Holland, Center for Economic and Social Rights
The Impossible Diplomacy of Human Rights
Lecture by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at Georgetown University on the occasion of the presentation of the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy.
The Private Sector in Development: New Challenges for Human Rights and Civil Society
Published by Civicus, from the Civicus State of Civil Society Report 2017. Written by Gretchen Gordon, Coalition for Human Rights in Development.
The Normalization of Violence and Impact of War on Women: How to Normalize Peace and Human Rights
In a panel lead by Revered Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, panelists Claudia Furaha Fundiko, France Greaves, Dr. Samira Al-Alaania Adulghani, and Jeremy Courtney discuss the ways in which violence against women and girls has become expected with militarization, and propose ways to advocate for peace.
How can human rights defenders protect themselves online?
An archive of our live roundtable discussion regarding online activism and cybersecurity for human rights defenders.
How Does Knowledge of Human Rights Empower Nigerian Women?
Sadiat Onike-Azeez, Women’s Wing Dawah Officer for NASFAT, talks about the relationship between human rights and Islam and how knowledge of their rights helps widows in Nigeria move away from poverty.
We must find new ways to protect human rights defenders
Almost 20 years ago the UN adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, but they face more danger than ever. Written by Iva Dobichina, James Savage Open Society Foundations, Fund for Global Human Rights.
Scripturally Annotated Universal Declaration of Human Rights
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and inspired by President Carter’s long commitment to these same values, The Carter Center has published a compilation of Biblical texts that demonstrate alignment with the UDHR. This document does not offer a definitive analysis, but hopes to inspire thought and initiate discussions, as well as provide Christian validation of the basic values and principles that the UDHR espouses.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70th Anniversary
In 2018, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will celebrate its 70th anniversary. It remains as relevant today as it was in 1948. To highlight what the Universal Declaration means for people in their everyday lives, UN Human Rights has launched a year-long campaign building on the existing Stand Up for Human Rights campaign. It will culminate on 10 December 2018.
The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
In 1998, the United Nations adopted the “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms." The Declaration is addressed not just to States and to human rights defenders, but to everyone. It tells us that we all have a role to fulfill as human rights defenders and emphasizes that there is a global human rights movement that involves us all. You may read the full text of the declaration by clicking the link at right.
Criminal Justice and Human Rights
From high-level crimes against humanity to wrongful incarceration, legal systems must be managed to work in favor of protecting human rights.
Human Rights Defenders Forum 2018
More than 60 activists, peacemakers, and community leaders from at least 25 countries will come together July 21-24 for the Carter Center’s annual Human Rights Defenders Forum to discuss “Restoring Faith in Freedom.” Topics will include economic and social rights, building faith in institutions, strengthening the social contract, and the recent backlash against human rights defenders. The Forum also will showcase the experiences of the courageous women and men on the front lines of the fight for human rights. Please use the resources below to familiarize yourself with the 2018 Human Rights Defenders Forum.
A Call for Peace, Dignity, and Justice
Since 2003, The Carter Center has convened a series of global Human Rights Defenders Forums to assess the most pressing challenges from those on the frontlines of the struggle. This year’s forum is a culmination of work over 13 years by some of the most courageous and effective human rights defenders and peacemakers. From June 18-21, 2016, activists and peacemakers from 22 countries gathered for The Carter Center’s Annual Human Rights Defenders Forum, “A Time for Peace: Rejecting Violence to Secure Human Rights.” Forum participants joined former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in calling for all nations to recommit to the realization of universal human rights, the advancement of women’s leadership, and the rejection of violent approaches to countering extremists, which have resulted in an unending cycle of violence.
Mobilizing Action for Women and Girls in West Africa
The report from The Carter Center's Human Rights Defenders Forum hosted by the National Chief Imam of Ghana in Accra, Dec. 7-9, 2015.
Rising inequality is a wake-up call for human rights
"The challenges that economic inequality poses for human rights are not the death knell for the movement but a wake-up call for a more holistic approach." Written by Ignacio Saiz
Center for Economic and Social Rights
"The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) works to promote social justice through human rights. In a world where poverty and inequality deprive entire communities of dignity, justice, and sometimes life, we seek to uphold the universal human rights of every human being."
What's Happening to Human Rights Organizations in Russia?
EU-Russian Civil Society Forum Executive Director Anna Sevortian talks about the current situation for human rights organizations in Russia. She highlights the importance of civil society and international support to push back against state-imposed legal actions and use of the Foreign Agents Law to stigmatize activists as “undesirables” or spies.
To the United Nations Human Rights Council
A letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council, published by the Poor People's Campaign. Written by Rev. dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, National Co-Chairs, Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
How can we help the victims of Boko Haram?
Reverend Esther Ibanga talks about what is needed to help the survivors of Boko Haram successfully recover and reintegrate into society.
Un Empredimiento Peligroso: El Financiamiento para el Desarollo y la Lucha por los Derechos Humanos
Escrito por Gretchen Gordon, Coordinadora de la Coalición para los Derechos Humanos en el Desarollo
Restoring Faith in Freedom
The final statement of the 2018 Human Rights Defenders Forum, held at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, July 22-24, 2018
Economic Reform Is a Human Right
International law can be a powerful advocacy tool for improving economic an social policy. By Radhika Balakrishnan and James Heintz
Protecting civic space and the right to access resources
This document summarizes three general principles under international human rights norms and standards regarding the ability of civil society to seek, receive and use resources. The left hand column provides arguments supporting specific aspects of each principle, while the right hand column provides the legal basis or background for the argument. Where relevant, hyperlinks are provided to original sources.
Everybody's Got a Right to Live
"Everybody's Got a Right to Live," published by the Poor People's Campaign.
SDG10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries set forth by the United Nations
A Time for Peace
President Jimmy Carter's speech to the 2016 Human Rights Defenders Forum.
Seeking accountability for women's rights through the SDGs
Published by the Center for Economic and Social Rights
Why business needs women to lead on the SDGs
Why business needs women to lead on the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. Written by Ellen Weinreb.