Fact Sheet #29a) Participation into Human Rights Network

Level 4

Element: Capacity Building and Resources

Outcome 29: Organization has adequate capacity and resources to address Level 4 outcomes of each element.

Indicator 29a): Organization has established or is part of a network of external human rights communities.

Possible Measures and Data Sources:

  • Number of registrations to, and memberships in, associations, networks, social networks, conferences, etc.

Indicator Description

At this stage, the organization has its house in order with respect to human rights. This foundation helps the organization connect with other organizations that share similar interests. To do so, it creates or is part of networks that focus on fostering human rights. It uses networking as a means to exchange ideas, spot opportunities, share information, be aware of new trends and hear about innovative approaches.

At Level 3, the business plan integrates human rights into all organizational processes. Capacity building efforts lead to a greater ability to intervene with more specialized staff. At Level 4, the organization networks with other organizations or groups that share the same interests or that are specialized to deal with selected issues. Together they share knowledge, know-how, and tools to address emerging human rights issues such as challenges associated with intergenerational diversity, genetic discrimination, aging workforce, social condition, or any other emerging issue (see Fact sheet 29c)).

For example, an organization concerned with the retention of new employees while older employees are planning to retire may choose to network with an organization that has already produced research or guides on the challenges of managing intergenerational diversity in an employment setting.  

Suggested Approach

Networking with the external human rights community enables your organization to stay up to date on human rights issues with a minimal investment of time and resources. Efficient networking requires some degree of planning. Consider the following:

  • Assess your current practices in terms of formal and informal networking and spot opportunities to discuss human.
  • Ensure that you have the organizational competency to network: 
    • Do you have a policy that precludes you from doing it?
    • Is your culture hindering your efforts?
    • For example does your organization have privacy as a prime value? Are people empowered to network?
    • Are you working in silos, making it difficult for an individual to network for the entire organization?
  • Do not wait for a need or an issue that needs to be resolved prior to networking. Engage first and the network will be there for you when needed. Giving first can go a long way to becoming a valued member of the network!
  • Become a member of existing groups of leaders from the private or public sector who share your interest in promoting and enhancing human rights. The Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC), the Community of Federal Visible minorities or the Human Rights Champions Network are examples of such groups.
  • Network with not-for-profit organizations: In addition to advocating for human rights, these organizations often act as information hubs. They conduct research on human rights issues and design educational tools for employers, service providers and society as a whole.
  • Collaborate with academics: In most Canadian universities, several departments carry out research projects on human rights-related issues. Collaboration in these academic research projects will provide the organization with access to up to date information while contributing to the team’s development of knowledge and skills.

Promising Practices

  • Community of Practice: An organization established a community of practice to foster collaboration and collective learning among members of its industrial sector about human rights issues. This network created a recognition program to support the participation of members and demonstrate the practical benefits of their contribution.
  • Joint commitment: Several organizations made a joint commitment to support a not-for-profit organization (NFPO) that promotes human rights. The partnering organizations assist the NFPO in making its concerns heard and support its research projects. In return, the NFPO offers them advise in managing human rights related issues.

Useful Tools and Links

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)

Effective Knowledge Transfer & Exchange - Imagine Canada

Canada’s universities showcase benefits of private sector partnerships - Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)

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