Where do Human Rights begin? In small places close to home.

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

We’ve drawn inspiration for the HagueTalks on Human Rights Day http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/from the person who fought so hard for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be adopted 70 years ago: Eleanor Roosevelt, a formidable person, who chaired the drafting committee of what’s now the most translated document in the world.

What we’ll be exploring is the lived experience of that document, alongside human rights activists, engaged artists, passionate academics, and asking what relevance does the Universal Declaration have today.

Many people who don’t live in a country where freedom of expression is limited don’t realise how much work there is still to do to get human rights accepted, enforced, spread.  So what can WE do, to make human rights a bigger part of our conversations? What can WE do to make human rights more universal?


  • Polly Higgins – over the past decade, she has championed Ecocide law, a law to protect the Earth. She will be speaking on how the international crime of climate ecocide poses the challenge of our time.
  • Tey el-Rjula is the CEO and founder of Tykn.tech. Tey is also active as a public speaker and educator on digital currencies and Blockchain technology.
  • Ottilia Anna Maunganidze is passionate about human rights, peace, truth,  stability and justice. Her work is all about promoting a peaceful and prosperous Africa.
  • Guffo used to work as a political cartoonist for several newspapers. Now an independent cartoonist, Guffo does the best he can to contribute to a better world.  His main concern is to protect the environment.
  • Judith Ndukwu is a Human Rights Defender from Nigeria, focused on promoting the rights and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people, women’s rights and she is passionate about equality for all.
  • Bernhard Lenger is an Austrian award-winning physical narrative designer. He will talk about how collaborative design has the tools to find solutions for global issues.
  • Amber Bindels, Disability Activist and creator of the initiative “Wij staan op” (“We stand up”), promoting equal rights for handicapped people at work.

Special contribution by composer laureate Calliope Tsoupaki and master of the panpipes Matthijs Koene.
Moderator of the event is Janet Anderson – Journalist and Consultant at Justice Hub and RNTC.

Partners for this event are the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Municipality of The Hague, the Carnegie Foundation, Just Peace and Museon.

Join us for a lively discussion about the roles we can all play via livestream here. Livestream starts 17:00 o’clock.

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