Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms which every person on the planet should enjoy, regardless of where you're from, your beliefs, and even what you've done. They are centred on values such as dignity, equality, respect, fairness and independence. The sad reality is that for millions of people around the world, these values are not upheld.
Why Volunteer With A Human Right's Charity?
In 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while the Human Rights Act is a UK law passed in 1998. Steps like this brought improvement, but there are still countless countries around the world where basic human rights are being ignored every day.
This is where human rights charities come in, and different organisations concentrate on a wide range of issues at any one time. When you volunteer for a human rights charity, you can make a real difference in people's lives. You can have an impact on their safety, security, quality of life and wellbeing - both mentally and physically.
How To Help Human Right's Charities
USE YOUR LEGAL EXPERTISE
If you have knowledge of human rights law, your time could be exceptionally valuable to a human rights charity. Whether you only have a couple of hours a week to give, or you're looking to devote a significant portion of your time, you may be able to get involved with casework covering a huge variety of issues.
SEND A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT
Amnesty International is the world's leading human rights charity. Its Write for Rights 2018 campaign is the world's biggest letter-writing movement, and follows on from the 2017 effort which saw over 5.5 million cards, letters, emails and social media posts sent. The campaign aims to support people going through a variety of rights-related struggles, and your words can provide invaluable encouragement, strength and comfort.
HELP CHARITIES CAMPAIGNING AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
To many people, the death penalty is the most fundamental violation of basic human rights. Because of this, there are charities devoted to campaigning against the death penalty, and helping people who've been sentenced to execution. Legal expertise is always hugely valuable to organisations like this, although you can get involved with other things such as office work or campaigning efforts.
GET INVOLVED WITH HELPING REFUGEES
At the end of 2017, there were more than 40,000 asylum seekers in the UK. Most refugees are looking to escape unimaginable conditions. Charities such as the Helen Bamber Foundation support refugees and asylum seekers who've been through extreme cruelty, including torture and human trafficking. There are many roles you could help out with, whether it's passing on your computer skills, supporting recently-arrived families, working as a translator, or helping with office work.
VOLUNTEER AS A THERAPIST
When people suffer human rights injustices, it can leave deep emotional scars that may require years of ongoing therapy. If you're a qualified therapist, just one half-day a week of your time could go a long way to helping numerous people deal with their difficult or traumatic experiences.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
While some volunteering roles are very casual, others - such as therapist positions - require a deeper commitment. You may need to pledge at least six months to a role.
Even though working closely with people who've suffered from physical and mental abuse is likely to be upsetting, you'll receive training to prepare yourself for roles like this.
Where To Get Started
If you're looking for some inspiration on how to get started with volunteering for human rights charities, take a look at the organisations below:
People's Postcode Lottery is proud to support a range of wonderful charities. Our players have raised over £6.5 Million for these four charities alone, and you too could lend your support by signing up to play.