HRF’s staff has established valuable relationships with dissidents from across the globe and is responding to the need for a better understanding of human rights by populations restricted to either hypocritical talk about rights or a total absence of such discussions. One theme consistently emerges in HRF’s research: people living in closed societies — where political parties are illegal, property rights do not exist, and authentic, independent journalism is not permitted — often don’t realize that their fundamental human rights are violated daily.
HRF has started working with experts on the ground to create, publish, and distribute country-specific guides on human rights. The first “Your Human Rights” guide was originally written in Spanish for the people of Cuba — one of the few totalitarian police states that remain. The prototype was designed so that HRF could customize the guide for other closed and closing societies. A copy of the Cuban version of “Tus Derechos Humanos” can be viewed here. In places where information is suppressed and censored, educational materials that provide a clear understanding of fundamental human rights are essential in the struggle for basic human dignity and freedom.
Each guide is compact, engaging, and visually appealing, and includes sections explaining freedom of thought and expression; the rights to life and personal integrity; freedom of association and movement; the right to property; due process; the right to privacy; and the right to political participation. Because these guides are tailored to each country and culture, every section relates basic freedoms to examples of pertinent human rights violations in each particular country and culture. The final product for each country will be disseminated in online and print form and in addition to the guide, may include short videos, children’s books, and mobile apps.