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IFEX Campaign Toolkit:

Escalate It

Push your campaign to the next level. Read online or download the entire guide.


Escalate It | Chapter One

Building a Media Strategy

Mass media, such as newspapers, radio, television and the Internet, provide freedom of expression organisations with an essential vehicle for conveying information to an audience that can include everyone from the general public to government decision-makers.

Escalate It | Chapter Three

Holding a Press Conference

When there is a serious free-expression violation or evidence of an alarming trend, organisations need a high-profile media event to capture media attention quickly and effectively.

Escalate It | Chapter Four

How to Make a Press Kit

A press kit is a collection of information provided to reporters at media events, such as press conferences. Press kits can also be sent to reporters who were invited to a media event, but did not attend. They are an important tool for your organisation to frame your coverage and an invaluable resource for media. However, for press kits to be useful, they must be timely and concise.

Escalate It | Chapter Five

How to Write a Press Release

A press release is one of the most common ways for an organisation to present information to the media. You can use a press release to inform the media - and through them, the public - about many things, including:


Escalate It | Chapter Six

Lobbying Effectively

Lobbying is often associated with quiet words behind closed doors, but this is just one technique. It is usually necessary to use many other campaigning methods to persuade a government to listen seriously to those quiet words and take the desired action.

Escalate It | Chapter Seven

Who to Lobby

The starting point for developing lobbying strategies is to research and analyse your situation, the problems you are trying to overcome, opportunities you may be able to take advantage of, and the resources you have available.

Escalate It | Chapter Eight

Worksheet: How to lobby

Informing and persuading those with power or influence to protect and promote human rights involves a number of techniques. You may decide you need to use membership action, the influence of third parties and media publicity, or you might simply have a chat with the foreign minister over a coffee. In the long-term, success also depends on the following important steps outlined in this worksheet.

Escalate It | Chapter Nine

Working with Coalitions

Cooperation among NGOs is likely to become increasingly common in the future. Coalitions - that is, temporary alliances to execute a particular campaign - can be a very effective tool for campaigners.


Escalate It | Chapter Ten

Guide to the Universal Periodic Review

In 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), to evaluate how well UN member states are fulfilling their international human rights obligations. The UPR is made up of a working group of 47 members. Each state is individually reviewed every four years. At the end of the process, an “outcome statement” lists recommendations made, and indicates which ones have been accepted by the state. The process allows states to reveal which recommendations they will implement to right abuses. Non-government organisations (NGOs) can use outcome statements to hold governments accountable for protecting human rights. It is the government's responsibility to follow through on its UPR commitments; however, the UPR may intervene if states fail to make improvements.

Escalate It | Chapter Eleven

Submitting a Report to the UPR

Organisations can identify human rights violations by submitting a report to the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Submissions can focus on one or multiple human rights that are protected under UN documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Submissions can also identify whether or not a country is fulfilling its national human rights commitments and adhering to international humanitarian law.


Escalate It | Chapter Thirteen

Guide to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Established in October 1987, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) is a mechanism that promotes and protects the rights guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Commission also interprets the Charter as it applies to particular cases and can guides African governments in ensuring their legislation and practices adhere to the Charter.

Escalate It | Chapter Fourteen

Submitting a Complaint to the ACHPR

Any victim, individual or organisation, as well as AU state, can submit a complaint or “communication” to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR). However, the Commission is now requesting that the complainant, whether an organisation or individual, have a link to the victim(s) to avoid complicating an examination of the case. For example, a case may not be admissible if an organisation is filing on behalf of a victim without having contacted the victim.


Escalate It | Chapter Sixteen

Guide to the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has made more than 10,000 judgments since it was established in 1959 to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Any individual victim of a human rights violation, family member(s) of victims or group of victims can submit a case to the ECHR. Complainants may be of any nationality; however, states can only be brought to the Court if they have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights.

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