Diakonia - People change the world
María Eugenia works tirelessly to ensure that human rights for internally displaced people in Colombia are respected. Her work has put her at risk many times, but she keeps on speaking out about injustice. Photo: Felipe Abondano

Human rights

Diakonia works to spread understanding about and achieve respect for universally acknowledged human rights, so that all people can live a dignified life.

Empowering rights holders

In our previous work, we have learned that one of the most effective ways of creating change is to empower rights holders to learn about and claim their rights. This is why all programmes work with a rights-based approach (RBA), but different programmes focus on different rights.

Protecting defenders of human rights

We work in countries with conflicts that are ongoing or have recently ended, with authoritarian regimes and with very fragile democracies. In these situations, human rights defenders face threats and legal processes, and some are even killed because of their work.

Diakonia works to protect these human rights defenders, linking efforts to national and international advocacy work.

When international conventions and national legislation are linked to rights holders’ daily lives, they become powerful tools for promoting human rights. Where national judicial systems are too weak or unwilling to fulfil their duties, regional and international institutions become important complements.