Adam Wagner, editor-in-chief of the admirable UK Human Rights Blog, has just launched his new human rights project. The aim of RightsInfo, which has just gone live, is to use social media to improve public understanding of human rights and to do so in an interesting way, with clear and reliable information presented in bite-sized chunks and with some excellent graphics: see, for example, the page on religion and belief.
Adam explains the reasoning behind his new initiative like this:
“Human rights in the UK have an image problem. This is because much of the public debate is based on misinformation and lack of understanding. The information which is available is too often aimed at specialists like lawyers and academics. This is bad, because it means that ordinary people are mostly ambivalent or negative towards human rights.
But many people are undecided on whether human rights are a good or bad thing. That is where RightsInfo comes in. We believe there is huge potential to do a better job at explaining why human rights matter and how they can change the lives of ordinary people. RightsInfo is about using social media to find new ways to talk about and deliver human rights stories and information.”
We couldn’t agree more about the image problem. One reason why “human rights” has become an all-purpose boo-word (along with “health & safety”) is because of sloppy – not to say downright mendacious – reporting of human rights cases in the media. Another is that the politicians who should be leading efforts to educate the public about the importance of rights in a liberal democracy under the rule of law simply haven’t been doing their job – Dominic Grieve and a few other brave souls excepted.
Well worth subscribing – and by now we shouldn’t need to remind you how important the human rights agenda is to religious manifestation.