Human Rights Solidarity is a registered trademark of London Advocacy Group Ltd., a company limited by guarantee (Reg. No: 10473818) with a pending application to be recognised as a charity. London Advocacy Group Ltd. also owns London Advocacy as a trademark, which is a litigation based human rights advocacy group.
We are immigrants. The founding cohort of Disciples of Solidarity are largely refugees (70 per cent) with most of us first or second-generation immigrants in the UK.
We are young. 95 per cent of our founding cohort are between 16 and 28. However, we do not discriminate against older ages. The gates of the House of Solidarity are open to all.
We are independent. HRS is a self-organised, members-led organisation. The only allegiance we have is to the HRS House Rules, our foundational principles. Not only HRS as a whole, but also each and every committee of HRS act as an independent unit.
We are transparent. All financial and decision-making processes of HRS are shared with members of HRS at our Transparency Module.
Why do we Act?
As a combination of the Millennials and Generation Z we have witnessed both the best and the worst. We observed the rise of populist authoritarianism and vulgar chauvinism in almost every corner of the world. We realised that democracy lacked self-guarding mechanisms on the face of digital manipulations. We saw how peoples of the world were ready to give up their hard-won rights and privileges on the face of a war, or a pandemic.
Generation Alpha, and the generations to come, deserve a better world.
We do act, because we want to be architects of that better world. We want to inherit the next generation, a culture of solidarity for human rights, a network of people standing up to power and to sways of often engineered popular opinion.
We do act, because we believe human rights are not a body of abstract knowledge that can be obtained through reading or listening. The knowledge of the muscle system does not make one well-built. Human rights are qualities that can only be obtained through exercising, through continuous activism.
We do act, because we cannot undo the wrongs of the past. But we can undo and redo the future, which in its current form is gloomy.
We do act, because we are reformers.
How do we Act?
The primary means of activism at the House of Solidarity is to learn. That is why we call ourselves Disciples of Solidarity. And the primary means of learning is to act upon what we have learnt.
We learn through various forms of human interactions: Social media activism, campaigns, letter writing, peer group discussions, webinars, panels, forums, blogs, vlogs, protests, exhibitions, lectures, reports, infographics, books, music, art and.
Through participation to and collaboration with other human rights activities, we have garnered a body of experience enough to pick and replicate when a call for action is raised in our meetings at any level of the HRS architecture. Committees are main decision-making bodies in HRS architecture, and they form permanent or temporary projects in line with their objectives.
These projects then grow into concrete actions and feed back to the body of experience and knowledge on why, what and how to successfully manage a project and create greater awareness in the upcoming projects. We learn from our flaws and mistakes , and we value the lesson learnt from a project, more than the concrete outcomes itself.
Our Event Module should provide enough evidence of why and how we act, but we also have been working on a series of Guideline Notes on Human Rights Activities. Our aim is to provide prospective Disciples of Solidarity all around the world to be able to adapt and replicate our experience in their own environment.
In defining our modus operandi we largely benefited from the Council of Europe’s COMPASS: Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People, and will keep harvesting the fruits of other human rights organisations’ activities.
How we are Governed
Human Rights Solidarity does not have a vertical hierarchy. We have a horizontal hierarchy model whereby all committees operate as independent and autonomous units. All decisions are taken at the committee level, including how the process of decision-making should be done within committee meetings.
As HRS we ask the committees to abide by the Solidarity Code of Conduct and the quality and transparency standards set and occasionally updated by the Solidarity Ombudsman. The Solidarity Code of Conduct asks for gender, ethnicity and age balance to be observed in the membership and governance structures of individual committees. Moreover, the HRS advises to have two co-chairs in committees if possible. The committees are advised to hold weekly meetings and a member of the Executive Committee attends, without any voting rights, to these meetings.
The Executive Committee is formed of two co-chairs of the HRS, a secretary general, a treasurer, and a general advisor. Members of the executive committee are responsible to run the HRS on daily basis and observe that all committee and project work is done in line with the Solidarity Objectives and Solidarity Code of Conduct, the two founding texts of Human Rights Solidarity. Work definitions of all active and prospective positions in HRS cadres are given in relevant lodges.
HRS holds a monthly general meeting (MGM) and an annual general meeting (AGM). MGM’s are done online, and all Disciples of Solidarity are invited to join these meetings. MGM’s are largely encouragement and reporting events, rather than decision taking ones. AGM on the other hand approves the annual budgets and activity calendars of committees and projects, establishment of new committees and city and university branches. Decisions at the AGMs are taken on OMOV (one member, one vote) principle.