That are successful in building public support.

Have you ever had the impression that your campaigns or communications efforts are not as effective as you would like them to be? Or, worse, that they are actually having the opposite effect on your audience?

Talking about human rights is not easy — it’s emotional and personal to say the least. It’s about people’s lives and wellbeing and you want to do it right because the consequences are real and tangible.

That’s why it’s so important to take a moment to look closer at the way we use human rights narratives to build public support and see how we…

And that I have treasured ever since.

In 2017, I spent ten days in Cameroon as part of a project by UK-based organization Forest Peoples Programme. My job was to help Baka and Bagyeli communities tell the story of their land and explain why it was so essential to their livelihoods. Given the on-going human rights violations that local and indigenous communities in Cameroon continue to face, providing them with a platform to speak up was one of the many ways in which the organization was (and still is) working to help them secure their human rights and the rights to their lands.

Despite my complete lack…

And achieve real impact.

Fridays for Future in Modena, Italy (September 2019)

We have been knowing about climate change for a long time, but never before has the world been so keen to engage in the conversation. The public opinion is finally shifting and everyone is talking about it, brands and individuals alike.

It’s undoubtedly an opportunity to send out a message that resonates, but are we doing that effectively? Are we focusing on the quality, rather than only on the quantity, of our communication?

Tackling the causes of climate change is both vital and urgent, so I compiled a list of 5 ways that I hope will help you reframe (or…

A few years back, I had the pleasure to interview Melanie Chiponda who has been working with rural communities in Zimbabwe for 11 years, 5 of which with the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust. Here’s what she told me about her work and experience.

What is your personal experience with regards to the relation between extractivism and the violation of human rights?

I work with a community in Marange, Zimbabwe. Marange is the diamond-rich area of Zimbabwe. It was once estimated that 25% of diamonds in the world is in Zimbabwe. In 2006 it was announced that diamonds had been found…

In 2015, I interviewed Jane Lingbawan Yap-Eo, Executive Director from the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera. Jane is born in the Cordillera, North of the Philippines, where one of the longest running mining companies is in operation: the Lepanto Mining Corporation. Here’s what she told me about her work and experience as an indigenous activist.

What is your personal experience in regards to the relation between extractivism and human rights?

In my own experience, activities related to the extraction of natural resources are not bad as such, if they are regulated. Extraction enables humans to live and survive…

In 2015, I had the pleasure to interview Andrea Shemberg, an international human rights lawyer with more than 12 years of experience in business and human rights. From 2007, Andrea served as Legal Advisor to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative John Ruggie (SRSG), advising on a range of international law issues and helping the SRSG’s efforts to realise the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011. During the interview we spoke about ways to integrate women’s rights into the implementation of the UNGP.

In 2007 you served as…

One of the things that concerned me the most about travelling solo was having to eat alone. This is how Cambodian food changed my mind.

© Camilla Capasso

I had travelled alone many times before Cambodia, but never for this long and never this far. To say that I was confident in my decision to go on this trip by myself would be an overstatement, but I also felt a deep, almost adrenaline, need to be alone, find my own pace again, breathe, sleep, walk with myself. People do it every day — I thought. I can do it too.

I arrive in…

I spent two days at the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia, an elephant sanctuary that has both elephants and local people at heart.

© Camilla Capasso

Places have a strange way of communicating to those who explore them. Sometimes a single detail, a glimpse, a smell is all it takes for our mind to see. Sometimes years are not enough, and we inevitably surrender to the fact that we are not meant to grasp the truth below the surface.

As the road turns to dust, this is all I can think about. What is it about this place that is making my muscles…

Arnobia Moreno lives in the indigenous Resguardo Cañamomo Lomaprieta, one of the oldest colonial reserves in Colombia. Over the years she has played a key role in involving women in the protection and conservation of their traditional land. As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Arnobia told us about the importance of the Collective of Indigenous Women, which she helped creating, and her work to obtain the restitution of the original territory of the indigenous communities living in the Resguardo.

Arnobia Moreno (Camilla Capasso/FPP)

What is your name and your role within the Resguardo Cañamomo Lomaprieta?

My name is Arnobia…

Faustino Rotavista (Camilla Capasso/FPP)

It’s Wednesday morning at La Mandragora, a small finca (ranch), with colourful walls in the indigenous Resguardo of Cañamomo Lomaprieta, four hours north of Medellin, in Colombia. Faustino Rotavista is sitting in the front garden under a gazebo made of bamboo canes and stares away at the near town of Riosucio. He wears a white, wide-brimmed hat and his tone of voice is gentle but firm as he tells the story of a life spent protecting his land.

“I started this struggle when I was really young and I am happy about this achievement,” says Faustino, the excitement in his…

Camilla Capasso

Non-profit communications consultant, freelance writer and content creator.

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