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How to message on human rights: A communications guide for organisations promoting human rights

by Civil Liberties Union for Europe / Israel Butler

Published | December 2022

Building narratives


“How to message on human rights” is enabling organisations to promote human rights in the public, taking into account different public audiences. It builds narratives about human rights which can be used in the communication works on human rights.

Why read

The guide helps civil society actors and organisations to build communication guidelines for human rights-related approaches and how to increase support therefore from the public.


The guide refers to communication on human rights to the supporter base and to the moveable middle. Public audiences tend to divide into at least three segments. Those who are solidly in favour of human rights, those who are solidly against, and those in the middle. This middle group can usually be broken down further.

The guide is divided into three parts. Part One sets out four general rules for how to talk about human rights. Part Two outlines how to structure a persuasive message. Part Three offers guidance on what kinds of visual materials to use when delivering your message over social media.

Readers who are communicating specifically on the rights of people from marginalised groups should use this guide in conjunction with the guide ‘How to message on the rights of people from marginalised groups’. The latter contains additional techniques you should incorporate into your messaging to bring people from marginalised groups into your audience’s circle of concern.


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