Co-winner of the 2014 Human Rights—Best Book Award, sponsored by the APSA Human Rights Section.
Advocates within the human rights movement have had remarkable success establishing new international laws, securing concrete changes in human rights policies and practices, and transforming the terms of public debate. Yet too often, the strategies these advocates have employed are not broadly shared or known. Campaigning for Justice addresses this gap to explain the "how" of the human rights movement.
Written from a practitioner's perspective, this book explores the strategies behind some of the most innovative human rights campaigns of recent years. Drawing on interviews with dozens of experienced human rights advocates, the book delves into local, regional, and international efforts to discover how advocates were able to address seemingly intractable abuses and secure concrete advances in human rights. These accounts provide a window into the way that human rights advocates conduct their work, their real-life struggles and challenges, the rich diversity of tools and strategies they employ, and ultimately, their courage and persistence in advancing human rights.
About the author
Jo Becker has over 20 years of experience as an advocate for human rights and social justice. She is the Children's Rights Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, and has lead successful international campaigns to prevent the use of child soldiers and to protect child domestic workers and other vulnerable children.
"This book is a gold mine. Campaigning for Justice provides invaluable insights into how human rights campaigns work, and distills lessons gleaned from dozens of veteran advocates. It illustrates the rich diversity of the human rights movement today, and will be a terrific resource not only for those just entering human rights work, but also for those with years of experience."
—Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Co-founder, International Campaign to Ban Landmines
"While there are books about social movements and books about human rights ideas and issues, this book is situated in the critical gap between those two bodies of work, designed to address the question of how human rights organizations actually do their work. The book has a currency which is needed right now."
—Barbara Frey, University of Minnesota
"It is a singular contribution to the literature on activism and will be indispensable for those interested in advocacy in general and human rights in particular."
—Elazar Barkan, Columbia University
"Documenting the lives of practitioners on the frontline of advocacy for human rights, Jo Becker shows us why the world no longer remains silent when terrible crimes occur. Campaigning for Justice is a vivid testament to the lives of human rights activists, including Becker's own, as advocates and courageous fighters for the rights of others."
—Radhika Coomaraswamy, Former Special Representative to the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, United Nations
"Jo Becker, with her enormous experience and formidable commitment to the realization of human rights, has assembled a series of outstanding analyses in a book that will be an obligatory reference for everyone who wants to understand the state of the struggle for human rights in the twenty-first century."
—Paulo S. Pinheiro, former Commissioner and Rapporteur on Children, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, OAS