Twitter has become one of the greatest platforms for human rights advocacy in our time. Champions for human rights across the world use Twitter to:
- Talk directly to you and me
- Spread their messages across the world
- Start #hashtag campaigns
- Effect real change in society
So, for this Human Rights Day, why not start following some of the biggest activists on Twitter and lend them your support in changing the world for the better:
1. Follow Emma Watson @EmWatson
Courage is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation.
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) August 18, 2015
You may know her as the magical Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter movies, but in real life, Emma Watson is a fierce human rights and gender equality activist. Twitter has even created a unique emoticon for her #HeForShe movement.
Just watch Emma Watson’s UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador speech at the United Nations and you will know that she is worthy of a place in your Twitter feed:
2. Follow Kenneth Roth @KenRoth
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) March 9, 2016
Kenneth Roth doesn’t mince words, but when you are the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch — one of the leading human rights organisations in the world — you need to speak boldly for those who can’t speak for themselves.
“Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice.” – Human Rights Watch
If you are passionate about the rights of marginalised people around the world, then Kenneth Roth’s tweets will keep you up-to-date and involved.
3. Follow the Dalai Lama @DalaiLama
Just as cold is dispelled by heat, its opposite, anger and loving-kindness counter one another.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) February 26, 2016
The Dalai Lama’s blissfully smiling face is well known around the world. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, and lifetime advocate for world peace, it is no wonder that he is arguably the most famous human rights leader of his generation.
The Dalai Lama’s tweets are about more than just spreading goodwill – they are also about helping people be kinder to one another. Following the Dalai Lama’s official Twitter account will undoubtable make you a more compassionate and caring human being.
4. Follow Malala Yousafzai @MalalaFund
Malala Yousafzai made headlines in 2012 when a Taliban member boarded her school bus in Pakistan and shot her in the head. This was in response to the then 15-year-old Malala having become an outspoken advocate for educational freedom for women and children in Pakistan.
Miraculously, Malala survived the gunshot wound and continued with more resolve than ever, saying of the event: “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.” Malala continues to fight for the right of women and children to have access to education around the world, and in 2014, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
If you think education is a right worth standing up for, then you should join The Malala Fund on Twitter.
5. Follow Michel Sidibé @MichelSidibe
— Michel Sidibé (@MichelSidibe) March 1, 2016
Michel Sidibé from Mali is tackling one of the biggest human rights issues in Africa: healthcare. As Executive Director of UNAIDS, Sidibé is leading the global campaign for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and treatment for those infected with HIV/AIDS, as well as stopping discrimination against those infected.
<p”>Join the fight against HIV/AIDS on Twitter and help Sidibé fight this ever-growing crisis that is ravaging the African continent.
Are you interested in studying HIV/AIDS Management or Community Development? Find out more here
6. Follow Melinda Gates @melindagates
— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) March 4, 2016
Alongside her husband, Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), Melinda runs the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation — the largest privately funded foundation in the world.
There are few couples who do more to reduce poverty and enhance healthcare in the poorest parts of the world than the Gates, and the effect of their efforts is practically immeasurable.
If you are looking for inspiration to do more for those less fortunate than you, then you’ll find it on Melinda Gates’ Twitter page.
7. Follow Obiageli Ezekwesili @byezeks
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) March 13, 2016
Obiageli Ezekwesili is one of Africa’s fiercest female leaders, the former Minister of Education of Nigeria, and co-founder of the global anti-corruption group Transparency International.
Ezekwesili is also active on social media, having been listed as one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of the Year in 2015 after starting the #BringBackOurGirls campaign following the abduction of 300 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Follow Obiageli Ezekwesili and show your support for one of Africa’s greatest social and political activists.
8. Follow Leonardo DiCaprio @LeoDiCaprio
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) February 29, 2016
Celebrities have the unique position in our society of being able to reach an extremely wide audience with their actions and words. So when Leo finally won his long-overdue Oscar this year, he chose to selflessly use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encourage the world to help preserve the environment.
There isn’t a higher profile celebrity doing as much for climate change advocacy as DiCaprio. While climate change might not always be considered a human rights issue, DiCaprio himself said at the 2014 UN Climate Summit:
<>“Clean air and water and a liveable climate are inalienable human rights”
If you are a big fan of his movies — and care about the world we leave behind for following generations — why not see what Leonardo DiCaprio has to say on Twitter?
Make your voice heard
Not all of us can work for the United Nations, or use our fame and money to help save the world. But we all need to do the little we can to help make the world a better place for all. This might be as simple as sharing lunch with someone who doesn’t have any, making a small donation to a charity organisation in your community, or retweeting a message that needs to be heard by more people.
You can show your support for Human Rights Day with Oxbridge Academy right now by clicking on the button below: