Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Governance Human rights and rule of law Social inclusion Social innovation

Originally posted on the HuRiLab website

It started with a simple but profoundly daunting question from a young student named Maimuna who I met at the Tashkent Social Enterprise for Employment of Persons with Disabilities during a recent visit to Uzbekistan.

She asked me about the United Nations and its functions. I tried to explain what the United Nations does. My answer did not convince her.

“Are you doing enough for all of us?” she asked.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about her question. I started looking at our portfolios, particularly in the areas of governance, rule of law, justice, and human rights.

Some of our initiatives and projects exclusively focus on building state capacities. Most of them are also working with non-state actors. But they did not fully satisfy me in my quest to find an answer to Maimuna’s question.

  • Are we doing enough to help national and local partners deliver better and demand driven public services?
  • Are development programmes and projects inclusive enough?
  • Do they address social justice and emerging issues?
  • Do they contribute to human rights and human dignity?
  • Are we ready to harness the full potential of technology to promote rule of law, human rights and justice?
  • Are we taking full advantage of an increasingly networked world?

Clearly we have achieved some progress.

But the big question is: are we really addressing the multiple challenges posed by social exclusion, vulnerabilities, and marginalization?

Can we do more? Or better yet, can you?

Social innovation camp for human rights

As we are preparing for the HuRiLab (28 to 30 June 2013, in Yerevan), the first international social innovation camp dedicated to rule of law, justice and human rights, we want to encourage students, techies, innovators, civil society activists and professionals from different countries to explore some of these critical questions.

What are we looking for?

In an effort to promote and protect human rights, increase access to justice and strengthen the rule of law, we are looking for ideas to tackle challenges posed by:

  • Vulnerability due to societal attitudes, institutional stigma and discrimination, including people living with HIV and AIDS, migrant workers, and others
  • Marginalization based on some of our nice qualities – ethnicity, religion, language, sex or gender
  • Exclusion due to deep-rooted and growing inequality – this could include women, young people, people with disabilities, underprivileged children, or people living in poverty because they are from a rural community

Or maybe you have an idea that doesn’t fit in anywhere.

That’s ok too, as long as it promotes human rights and the rule of law, we want to hear about it!

Do you have an idea that can make a difference?

Do you want to make human rights a reality?

Can you help people find justice? Can you measure justice?

Can you demonstrate an example of using technology for promoting rule of law?

>> Submit your idea!

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