Exploring the Boundaries of Activism and Human Rights

12 April 2024

On March 19, 2024, an article published by the Fund for Global Human Rights showcased an insightful discussion on the limitations of the current human rights framework. As Komons, we are dedicated to the intersection of digital technology and social transformation, we continually strive to catalyze wiser, healthier, and more empathetic societies. Our work focuses on decreasing polarization and divisions, identifying opportunities for greater well-being, and strengthening civil society.

During a recent conversation shared with the Fund, a Maya K’iche’ healing therapist highlighted the inadequacies of the conventional human rights framework. The therapist questioned whether this framework, while extremely important, serves as the ultimate solution for building a good life. This perspective, highlighting the fragmenting rather than integrating nature of current human rights laws, resonates with our mission at Komons. It emphasizes the need for a holistic approach to human rights—one that integrates rather than isolates, and considers the full spectrum of human experience.

This discussion prompted a deeper reflection on the effectiveness of human rights as merely legal instruments. The current legal frameworks, such as those inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, often feel distant from the daily realities and emotional landscapes of those they aim to protect. The gap between legal theory and practical application manifests as frozen emotion, lost affection, and broken social bonds.

The need to incorporate a more sensitive and inclusive perspective into human rights discourse was clear. Moving away from binary and patriarchal narratives is essential for creating a framework that truly respects and enhances our humanity. This approach aligns with the activist nature of our work at Komons, where we recognize that rights should not just be enshrined in law but felt and lived by individuals in their daily lives.

Reflecting on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we find that although it has been a significant step forward, there is a pressing need to reassess its scope and impact. Does it adequately empower those it seeks to protect, or does it merely set boundaries for violations? The answers to these questions are crucial as we consider a refreshed framework that could more effectively address the complexities of contemporary human challenges.

At Komons, we envision a human rights framework that goes beyond theoretical constructs to become a living, breathing part of our daily interactions and societal structures. Such a framework would not only recognize rights as inherent but would also activate the potential and strength of vulnerable communities through connections that foster sensitivity, solidarity, and empathy.

To move forward, we need to reimagine human rights in a way that deconstructs its current hegemony over democratic ideals and opens up new possibilities for imagining and living rights that are universally respected and recognized.

In conclusion, as we continue to engage with and reflect on these critical discussions, it becomes evident that a comprehensive approach to human rights, one that includes grassroots insights and the realities of diverse communities, is not just necessary but essential for the evolution of our societies. We are committed to exploring these ideas further and working towards a framework that truly reflects the complex, interconnected nature of our global community.

Read the complete article here