Shine Your Light for Human Rights

A series of 14 events across seven time zones spotlighting the centrality of rights to the daily lives of people everywhere.


Shine your light for accountability when people’s rights are violated

30 November 2018, Dakar

UDHR Article 8 recognises the right of everyone “to an effective remedy”.

This event will spotlight what accountability means for victims of human rights violations citing too regional developments where new openings for more robust systems for accountable are evident. It will celebrate those who courageously stand up for justice and for accountability.

29 November – What remedies are available to those whose human rights have been violated, particularly among the most vulnerable groups? What is the role of authorities in ensuring accountability? How can Civil Society Organisations and National Human Rights Institutions better contribute to accountability mechanisms? Seventy years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar hosted a panel discussion on the practical meaning of Article 8 of the UDHR, which states, "everyone has the right to an effective remedy”.

Samba Thiam, Director at the Peace and Human Rights Institute (IDHP) reiterated that the principles and values contained in the human rights treaties that Senegal has ratified should apply in this country and that all humans have the right to have their fundamental rights recognised. Julien Ndour, Deputy Director for Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice, emphasised the difficulty to ensure accountability when social, economic and cultural rights are violated, as well as the need for lawyers to receive better practical training on the justiciability of human rights. Ndeye Amy Ndiaye from the Senegalese Human Rights Committee highlighted the need for the Senegalese Human Rights Committee not only to have the competence of receiving complaints but also the capacity to deal with such claims. Finally, Ndeye Magatte Mbaye from the Association of Senegalese Jurists pointed out that human rights make us all accountable, not just the State; we all have a responsibility to act for their realisation. She underlined the prerequisite of knowing one’s rights to access justice and an effective remedy, which is the reason why her organisation puts so much effort in outreach and sensitisation.

On 30 November, the film screening of "The Truth Detectives" took place in partnership with Ciné Droit Libre (CDL), a subregional human rights film festival. It provided an opportunity to consider how the aspirations contained in the UDHR have remained relevant in a changing world. The film presents the courageous work of human rights defenders and journalists fighting for establishing the truth, using the latest technologies to collect evidence of violations. Mobile phones and satellite images open up a new field of exploration. Based on recent cases in Ukraine, Colombia, Israel, Israel, Syria and Mali this documentary shows the extent to which technical innovation and the search for accountability have become inseparable.

At the same time, in the city of Saint Louis (North of Senegal), Mad Zoo, a graffiti artist painted a large mural on a courtyard wall of the Maison de la Gare, which welcomes more than 200 children and youth every day to provided them with education, food, medical care and a place to rest and play. The centre’s users are mostly “Talibé” children who are made to beg in the streets. The mural says “No to the exploitation of children” and asserts, “We are all responsible”. The face of a crying child is depicted, as well as a child beggar whose head is formed of a 25 francs coin, the equivalent in USD of 5 cents. It also conveys the precise meaning that a better future can only occur if the accountability of all is ensured and if people educate themselves. It was made with the help of Talibé children, who placed their handprint on the wall.

“My art is based on the questioning of legacies, the quest for the prepare the legacy of future generations...For me, human rights are everything that makes up our human essence. It requires knowledge of ourselves, respect for others, compassion and a deep desire to preserve human dignity” said Mad Mad Zoo posted on his Facebook account.

More information (in French):

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

people have stood up for human rights

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