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20 People Who Care about Human Rights

Inherently, humans have certain rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reinforces this idea. However, those in power often disregard this and exercise their power indiscriminately. This can lead to incredible human pain and suffering. That’s why organizations that fight for human rights are so important. Today, we want to celebrate the people behind these organizations and the amazing work that they do. Here are 20 people who care about human rights.

Michelle Nunn

Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA, leads CARE USA, a global humanitarian organization that fights poverty and provides assistance during emergencies. Prior to CARE, Nunn held numerous humanitarian positions, founded a local NGO, and even ran for the US Senate.

Michelle Nunn

The organization places a special focus on protecting the rights of women and girls around the world. In addition, CARE USA promotes sexual and reproductive health rights.

Edgar Sandoval Sr.

President at World Vision US

Born and raised in Central America, Edgar Sandoval Sr. has a strong passion for protecting the rights of children. In his role as the President at World Vision US, he is a leader and spokesperson for protecting every child. Previously, he led corporate social responsibility efforts at P&G.

World Vision is a faith-based organization that works to alleviate poverty. It sponsors children around the globe and promotes their basic rights.

Winnie Byanyima

Executive Director at Oxfam International

Byanyima is also a leader in promoting human rights, particularly women’s rights around the world. She is also a strong proponent of democratic governance and peacebuilding. Prior to Oxfam, Byanyima worked for the Ugandan Parliament, the African Union Commission, and the United Nations Development Program.

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Oxfam International is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. They implement both humanitarian and development programs.

Kumi Naidoo

Secretary General of Amnesty International

Growing up in the apartheid regime in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo is no stranger to human rights offenses. In fact, because of his fight against the regime, he was forced to live in exile. This led to his passion for fighting for human rights, including positions at Greenpeace and the African National Congress.

Amnesty International is also one of the largest organizations that work on human rights. They act as a watchdog to survey and report human rights abuses. Their advocacy work is extensive around the world.

Willy Fautre

Director and Co-Founder of HRWF

Willy Fautre manages the Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) organization. He has an extensive career as a human rights activist, particularly in communist regimes. At the same time, he is a well-recognized academic and lecturer.

HRWF works around the world to protect and promote human rights. The organization does extensive research on human rights issues. It provides observation, reporting, and monitoring in areas where human rights violations may be of concern.

Suzanne Benally

Executive Director at Cultural Survival

Suzanne Benally is the first indigenous woman to take the post of Executive Director at Cultural Survival. She has an extensive career in supporting indigenous rights. She is also a well-known academic in her field.

Cultural Survival fights for the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Their approaches include community radios, advocacy, as well as grant-making.

Reeta Roy

President and CEO at Mastercard Foundation

Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the world. It works to eradicate poverty and provide economic stability, particularly in Africa.

Rita Roy

Roy leads the organization to achieve its great work. A hands-on president, she often works directly in the field to implement projects. In the past, she worked for the Abbott Fund, Global Citizenship, and the United Nations.

Chantal van Cutsem

Executive Director at Lawyers Without Borders (Avocats Sans Frontiers ASF)

Chantal van Cutsem is a long-time proponent of human rights. She has worked with ASF for over a decade. As a lawyer, she has supported the promotion of human rights across the world including the Middle East and Africa.

ASF works with people around the world to help them defend their rights. They inform individuals of their rights and support lawyers in providing better assistance. Additionally, ASF promotes better legislature to protect human rights.

Glenn Mifflin

Chief Executive Officer at Cuso International

Since 2015, Glenn Mifflin has lead Cuso International in their volunteering mission. The organization sends professional volunteers abroad for knowledge exchange. Among others, Cuso International supports local human rights organizations.

Mr. Mifflin has served on the board of Cuso for several years. Previously a financial expert, he has been actively involved in not-for-profit work since his retirement in the business sector.

Ignacio Saiz

Executive Director at the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)

Ignacio Saiz is a human rights lawyer with an extensive career in human rights protection. Prior to joining the CESR, he held various posts at Amnesty International. There, he supported advocacy and policy efforts.

Today, Saiz leads the CESR in their work for social justice. The organization focuses on sustainable development, economic policy, and human rights. They also work to prosecute human rights violations.

Sanjoy Hazarika

International Director at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)

Human rights have been at the center of Sanjoy’s Hazarika’s career. He is a published author and previously a columnist for the New York Times. He has also held a number of posts in international not-for-profit organizations to support the promotion of human rights.

Today, he leads the CHRI. The goal of the organization is to promote justice through human rights. They provide access to information and justice. Additionally, CHRI is a strong advocate for human rights and against their violation.

Kenneth Roth

Executive Director at Human Rights Watch

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) operates in over 90 countries. The organization monitors the application of human rights and documents their violations. Through this, they are able to advocate for the protection of vulnerable populations.

Kenneth Roth

Kenneth Roth leads the HRW in this important goal. He has conducted a number of human rights investigations in the US and around the world. Additionally, he is a well-recognized author on the subject.

Jasmine O’Connor

Chief Executive at Anti-Slavery International

Jasmin O’Connor has worked in human rights protection for most of her life. Her main focus is the combination of grassroots projects with policy-making. In her role as Chief Executive, she leads the Anti-Slavery International team to eradicate slavery.

Anti-Slavery focuses on protecting the basic human right of being free from slavery. Today, there are millions of people who are forced to work against their will. The organization works at all levels to stop this from happening.

John Prendergast

Founding Director at Enough Project

Prendergast founded Enough Project over a decade ago. The goal of the organization is to stop genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also the co-founder of The Sentry that seeks to investigate war criminals.

Besides leading the Enough Project, Prendergast is also a best-selling author. His books focus on the protection of human rights and telling the stories of those who need this protection.

Yasmeen Hassan

Global Executive Director of Equality Now

Hassan has been advocating for women’s rights since she was 10 years old. Her first works were published in 1995, reporting on domestic violence in Pakistan. Today, she leads Equality Now as the Global Executive Director.

Equality Now promotes and protects the rights of girls and women. It seeks gender equality around the world. Their programs include development projects, education, research, and advocacy.

Michael J Abramowitz

President at Freedom House  

Previously a correspondent for the Washington Post, Abramowitz holds the post of president at Freedom House. He is a strong advocate for human rights, particularly the prevention of genocide and the promotion of democracy.

Freedom house supports activists around the world in their fight for human rights and freedom of expression. They also help to document human rights abuses and violations.

Dimitris Christopoulos

President of the Worldwide Movement for Human Rights (FIDH in French)

Dimitris Christopoulos is the 39th president of FIDH. He was elected in 2016. The main focus of his mandate is to fight against the impunity of those who commit human rights atrocities.

The FIDH consists of 184 member countries. The international board includes 22 activities which represent 21 countries from the list of members. The organization works to promote human rights, their protection, and prosecution of those who violate them.

Elhadj As Sy

Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Elhadj As Sy has served as elected secretary-general of the IFRC for the past 4 years. In the past, he has worked in the humanitarian and development sector for over 25 years. Saving lives and helping others has been the cornerstones of his career.

Elhadj As Sy

Today, at the IFRC, he leads the largest, global humanitarian organization. The IFRC is often the first to respond to natural disasters and save lives. It also focuses on preparedness and resilience which ensure the protection of people before disaster strikes.

Karyn Keenan

Director at Above Ground

Above Ground conducts research, analysis, and outreach on human rights related to corporate responsibility. Their goal is to ensure that business practices are fair to those they affect. Additionally, Above Ground promotes access to justice in Canada.

Karyn Keenan is a lawyer and has a long history of promoting human rights. She has worked with indigenous populations in Peru and Bolivia as well as in Canada. Keenan also has extensive experience with government advisory on the subject.

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen

Chief Executive Officer at Plan International

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen has been promoting human rights for over 25 years. Before leading Plan International, she worked with a number of international organizations. For example, she served as UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for Management at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Plan International works to protect the rights of children around the world, particularly girls. They do so through education, skills, youth, emergency, and sexual and reproductive health programming.

Everything You Need to Know about Human Rights

Humanitarians continuously work towards the protection and promotion of human rights. Even if their main mission is different, human rights always figure in the humanitarian approach. For example, humanitarians save lives because they believe in the individual’s right to life. Here you can take a closer look at the different aspects of human rights, their characteristics, history, and more.

We Help You to Travel Where it is Needed Most

We believe our world is a better place when people who truly care about human rights can travel where it is needed most. As a global humanitarian travel organization, we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. Our experienced staff can be reached at any given time. Please use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can also follow our blog for more stories and travel information.

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