Our theme Safe & Sound? is all about finding news ways to keep ourselves secure. The Rethinking Security network identifies 5 priorities for a secure world: invest in peacebuilding; meet people’s basic needs; protect human rights; improve social equality; and tackle climate breakdown.
In this article, we’re thinking about how we could Promote Human Rights.
Sometimes, we see security as holding onto the power we already have. We can be convinced to give up our basic rights in the name of protecting the status quo; and we can certainly become convinced that it’s necessary to take away other people’s rights.
In previous themes we’ve highlighted the story of Loujain al-Hathloul, a human rights defender in Saudi Arabia.
In 2014, Loujain defied Saudi’s driving ban for women by attempting to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates. She was detained for 73 days by the ‘security’ forces.
Loujain went on to stand for election in Saudi Arabia in November 2015 – the first time women were allowed to both vote and stand in elections in the state. However, despite finally being recognized as a candidate, her name was never added to the ballot.
Loujain was re-arrested at her home in May 2018, and has been held in detention without charge ever since. Along with her fellow human rights defenders, she continues to struggle for personal security and security for women in her country.
Weapons made in the UK are used by the Saudi Arabian security forces to persecute people like Loujain. Are there weapons sales making us more secure? Or would supporting people like Loujain to promote human rights help us all be safer?
Pop into Peace Hub to find out more about Loujain’s story, and explore how promoting human rights can make us all more secure.