Friday, April 7, 2017

Expectations about risk and sacrifice in human rights work 2/9



In human rights circles, there are strong social and cultural norms about self-sacrifice, heroism, and martyrdom. Especially in hostile conditions, risks are deemed as inherent in human rights practice. Defenders are expected to make personal sacrifices and to struggle; they are expected to face and manage risks or leave the work.

Machismo culture and the pressure that defenders feel about needing to be (and to appear) ‘brave’, inhibit conversations about wellbeing. In some cases, defenders are concerned that talking about the threats and attacks they have experienced and about the anxieties that they they feel may perpetuate fear and discourage others from joining the human rights movement.



HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER HUB POLICY BRIEF 1 | JANUARY 2017-University of York 
 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.

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