IV. Human Rights: A brilliant way of living our lives

We want to make a case for human rights that draws on intrinsic values - our sense of shared humanity, decency and dignity - rather than extrinsic values - the guilt or fear we trigger when defending human rights as an insurance policy that we might need one day if injustice befalls us.

This approach is inspired by narrative research conducted by Anat Shenker-Osorio, and the resulting messaging guide A Brilliant Way of Living our Lives. This research challenges us to invite wider audiences into the human rights story by talking about human rights not just as violations that happen to people, or entitlements that are taken away from them, but a practice that we all carry out. Whether human rights are inherent or a legal construct, the reason why we need them is to guide how we as humans live in a group together.

Messaging needs to paint a picture of the beautiful tomorrow that can and will be ours if we all fight”.

Anat Schenker-Osorio

This guide also tries to visualise what it looks like for human beings to do, practice and enjoy human rights—and to belong to a “larger us” - the human race. Othering & Belonging Institute director john a. powell describes belonging as not simply about joining something or being "included", but about co-creating the thing you're joining. If people are going to feel belonging to the human rights movement, they must have a greater role in its creation.

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