Engaging the younger generation on human rights

November 23, 2020


The Martin Ennals Foundation believes the involvement of young people in human rights is key to a peaceful and cohesive society. Our Foundation embarked on a new project to showcase the importance of defending human rights to youth, while motivating them to take a stand for issues that matter. 

A pilot project in

The pilot project arose out of our ambition to connect with the younger generation and to be more present in Geneva, the world capital of human rights. Our Foundation initiated with its partners Amnesty International and True Heroes Films a joint project to spark interest among Genevan students in the concept of human rights and what it means to be a human rights defender. We offer an educational plan matching the objectives of the Department of Public Education of Geneva Canton (Départment de l’instruction publique), focused on understanding the role that human rights play in daily lives, while developing communication skills.

The program covers three thematic workshops followed by an in-person meeting with past or present laureates of the Martin Ennals Award.

A first-hand experience 

This partnership between Amnesty International, True Heroes Films, and the Martin Ennals Foundation brings together three different angles of the defense of human rights. By combining Amnesty’s advocacy work, True Heroes Films’ media expertise, and Martin Ennals Foundation’s defenders, students can see first-hand the exceptional efforts made to protect universal human rights all across the globe.  

A first workshop explains what human rights are, how society is organized to uphold rights, and who are the individuals defending our rights. Students discover the human stories behind every article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

A second workshop gives students hands-on-experience in advocating for human rights defenders through their own research and media campaigns. Students   create their own human rights slogan about an issue close to their heart and directly engage, create, and present their strategies for advocacy. 

The final workshop challenges students to put their initial research and campaigns into films. Coached by young filmmakers, students learn how to use lighting, backgrounds, questions and storytelling to bring human rights causes and defenders to light.

Engaging young people on human rights matters 

Through this successful cooperation, the Martin Ennals Foundation, in partnership with Amnesty International and True Heroes films, brings forth the heritage and life-times work of Martin Ennals’ defenders to a diverse group of students that might continue in his footsteps for the defense of human rights.