There are many ways to support a human rights foundation. From the armchair to the field, there is no shortage of options when it comes to assisting a these groups.
Before considering what it means to support a human rights organization, it would be useful to define what human rights are...
What are human rights?
Human rights can loosely be defined as the rights and freedoms to which every human is entitled. This includes the right to life, liberty (the freedom from despotic or arbitrary control), freedom of thought and expression, and the right to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law. These are considered the intrinsic rights an individual is endowed with simply by virtue of being human. As such, these rights should not be taken away or restricted by another human being, organization, or government. To do so is commit violations of these basic human rights.
Why have human rights organizations appeared?
While it sounds good to say that these rights should not be taken from one person by another, human rights abuses occur all too readily. From the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone to the repression of free speech and press in China (Asia), there is no shortage of human rights violations. It is because of this that numerous organizations have sprung up in order to defend these rights, be it through the press, direct intervention, or government lobbying. These are but a few of the ways these organizations seek to bring the world's attention to these serious crimes.
What are some of the ways to help?
Each human rights organization has its own particular needs and methods for receiving support from the average individual. Many supporters choose to simply send a small amount of money to an organization of their choice, which can be done regularly or just once. There are organizations that welcome volunteers to help with fund raising, assist in the field, or sign petitions. Depending on the situation and the need, some organizations could require a more substantial donation than time or money. This could mean collecting blankets, food, medical supplies, giving blood, also products (for example furniture) and the like.
What does it mean to support a human rights organization?
Human rights organizations serve a very important function in today's world. Often, they are the only groups capable of reaching needy populations when official governments cannot, perhaps due to political and bureaucratic restrictions. By supporting these organizations, they are able continue working to directly offer their assistance to those who need it most. They also serve as the eyes on the ground, reporting on human rights crises as they happen. Without these organizations, many more human rights abuses would go undocumented and unpunished.
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