Human rights guides for countries under tyranny

Your Human Rights partners with civil society groups operating under dictatorship to create country-specific guides that provide information about human rights and how to advance them. More than a dozen guides have been written in local languages and distributed in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes from Azerbaijan to Cuba to Vietnam.

There are 7.6 billion people in the world. 3.9 billion live under tyranny. 

That's more than half of the global population for whom information is suppressed and censored.


Guides created
Copies sent into closed societies so far

Communicating the very idea of human rights violations within the walls of closed societies is a challenge—one Human Rights Foundation strives to meet through the production and distribution of Your Human Rights Guides. Working closely with international law experts, individual rights advocates, and dissidents from across the globe, HRF compiles and publishes comprehensive, country-specific guides on human rights and dignities. With support from experts on the ground, the texts are distributed within the countries. Each is compact, engaging and accessible, and includes sections which explain individual liberties.

The guides are tailored to each country and culture, providing examples of human rights violations particular to those people and places.

The first was produced and distributed in Cuba in 2009.

The Cuban police state suffocates civil society; it outlaws free expression and other civil liberties. HRF’s regular visits to Cuba supplied basic technology, material, medication, and other humanitarian aid to human rights groups in Cuba. HRF worked to make more information digitally available to Cubans, who are hindered by internet access restrictions, government censorship, and prohibitively slow internet connections. HRF created educational materials about human rights for civil society leaders to use and distribute within Cuba, both digitally and physically.

Tus Derechos Humanos (TDH) was the first educational guide produced by HRF and distributed in Cuba. The compact and engaging information about human rights, printed in pamphlet form, provides in-depth explanations of fundamental human rights, along with questions to provoke discussion and reflection for individual or group readings, in simple-to-follow language that appeals to a wide demographic. The guide is highly popular on the island, and is used as a textbook by some Cuban civil society groups. Hundreds of thousands of both hard and digital copies are currently circulating around Cuba.