human rights forebears

Inspirational men and women from the history of human rights whose lives and stories help us with the human rights challenges of today.

Would you have me argue that all human beings are equal?

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a remarkable worker for human rights.  Although he lived more than a century ago, his thoughts remain pressingly relevant. He began life as a slave, but winning his own freedom, he fought not only for abolition of slavery but also gave his support to other human rights causes, such as the emancipation of…

Bartolome de las Casas: An early human rights worker

Guatemalan girls in traditional dress

Bartolome de las Casas is one of those remarkable people in history who arose at the very beginning of the modern human rights movement.  A great humanitarian;  he learnt human rights in his encounter with the people of Central and South America during the sixteenth century European invasion of the Americas.  He used his office as Dominican…