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Setting a Human Rights Advocacy Agenda

Human rights advocates often come to realize the complex interconnectedness of human rights issues ranging from partisan politics to economic justice, and employee laws to food security. However, it can be overwhelming for HRAs to feel like they’re now personally responsible for the whole world’s problems. The good news is there are other human rights advocates across the country who care about human rights, too. Creating a personal human rights agenda can help HRAs to harness their passions and expertise, increase their effectiveness in the areas they choose to focus on, and take the entire weight of the entire world off their shoulders. 

Focusing Passions

Human rights advocates are likely to come across human rights violations on a regular or even daily basis. Knowing ahead of time what to focus their energy and attention on can help HRAs know what to respond to, how and when. Importantly, a human rights agenda can also help HRAs focus on areas to increase their expertise and manage their own capacity. This worksheet can be used to create a personal human rights advocacy agenda. You can view the link now by copying and pasting it into a new tab in your browser, or by accessing it in the Tool Box at a later time. 

Personal Human Rights Advocacy Agenda

Developing an Organization Agenda

Many human rights advocates are also part of organizations whose missions include advocating for specific issues, groups or populations. Very similar to a personal human rights agenda, this worksheet can be used to guide the development of an organization-level human rights advocacy agenda.

Organization Level Human Rights Advocacy Agenda

Getting Support

One of the most powerful ways to achieve human rights advocacy goals is to collaborate with others who have similar goals and agenda items. Developing a personal and/or organizational human rights advocacy agenda can be helpful in getting endorsements and support from other human rights advocates and issue advocacy organizations. In addition, building relationships and coalitions with these partners can also lead to long-term opportunities that amplify human rights advocates’ own mission and goals. 


Check your baseline knowledge and explore a few questions to prepare you for your journey as a human rights advocate. You can answer these questions in your head, say them out loud, or type them in. If desired, you can also print your answers, and/or enter your email address to have them sent to you for future reference.