|Strengthening the voice and impact of human rights advocates from "the South"
News from the Field, 21 May 2008
The process of democratization in the Global “South” (among developing countries) has increased citizen expectations for the respect of fundamental human rights.
With the support of UNDEF since April 2007, “Conectas Human Rights”, a trans-regional human rights NGO, headquartered in Brazil, has been developing a two year initiative aimed at increasing the impact of human rights activists and scholars working in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
With its mission to literally “connect” groups throughout the South, Conectas has rolled out a set of activities based on a 3 level strategy: capacity-building, knowledge development and joint advocacy.
The project has been successfully investing in two main activities:
The Colloquium is the starting point, offering intensive training and open space for sharing experiences and best practices among participants. The Colloquium also brings together academics and practitioners who get to know each other and often develop common initiatives. The SUR Journal benefits from this exchange and reflects innovative practices developed inside and outside the Colloquium. In the same way, the networks formed by the participants create the conditions for continuing and developing the exchanges into joint advocacy activities.
a) the International human rights Colloquium
b) the “SUR”- International Journal on Human Rights
2. The SUR Journal is published in three languages – Portuguese, English and Spanish – to allow for an internationalization of Southern voices, as authors writing in their own languages can be read by colleagues in other regions.
3. Improving the content of the journal
4. The SUR Journal is a critical tool to continue creating a community of academics and activists from the global South which endeavor to foster ways of collaborations among people in the South.
5. Editorial Partnership
Aiming at sustaining these two major activities, Conectas has been successfully hosting and managing 2 virtual networks, Human Rights Dialogue for Colloquia Alumni and Sur Human Rights University Network for researchers, which currently comprise more than 500 members.