‘We Are Human Rights’ is the first venture of Foundation We Are. It investigates the possibilities of collaboration with the field of human rights through a range of seven design methodologies. The current application addresses the pilot study of this experimental research. The seven operative designers are Maxime Benvenuto, Lucandrea Baraldi, Kornelia Dimitrova, Bernhard Lenger, Daeun Lim, Hannah van Luttervelt and Jella Lena van Eck. They were paired and worked along with seven human rights defenders (HRDs). Those were hosted in The Netherlands through the Foundation Justice and Peace Netherland and their initiative Shelter City. The graphic designer Karen van Luttervelt together with J&P and Shelter City,  publicised and communicated the ongoing developments.


Positive impact for human rights defenders and the field of human rights.

Aims of We Are Human Rights

Foundation We Are aims to support the collaborating human rights defenders without putting them in danger and without turning their stories and struggles into spectacle. The pilot study will investigate how design could provide concrete solutions to their professional challenges, for example by elaborating toolboxes that fit their needs, or by drawing scenarios and strategies they can implement - i.e. devise critical shortcuts.

Human rights defenders face continuous struggles, but they also take part in a growing network, through which they share experience, and help each other better-understand the obstacles they face. In that sense, there is often a clear problem-definition. The solutions and strategies they develop are often limited to their own professional field.

The We Are Human Rights pilot study has the aim to prove that design thinking can provide valuable insights for a range of practices working on international law and human rights.


The Politics of Representation
A travelling exhibition by
Lucandrea Baraldi + Madeeha

The lack of mutual cultural understanding between different ethnic communities in Sudan devides the communities. To nurture the cultural understanding between communities Lucandrea and Madeeha collaborate on a concept of a travelling exhibition.


Fishing for Futures
An educational tool by
Hannah van Luttervelt + Vilma

For children in rural communities prosperity is presented on a narrow horizon. Become a prostitute if you are a girl, and a soldier if you are a boy. This is a concept for an educational tool to empower children and show them different opportunities all in the form of games.


The Economy of Human Rights
A collaborative system by
Bernhard Lenger + Irwin

The criminalisation of homosexuality made LGBTQ people an easy target and lose their jobs. This concept for a collaborative system investigates the link between the economy and human rights. A speculative trade agreement allows exchange between Burundian and international creatives and implements human rights in the fine print.



Refracting Propagandas
A curated news column by
Maxime Benvenuto + Valentina

Propaganda is not necessarily a ‘bad’ word, but a social construct, which defines one’s worldview. This concept makes a variety of narratives of the same events available to the readers, to empower them to choose what they want to believe. The intention is to diversify the types of propaganda accessible to young Russians.


How I became an ally, from not giving a shit
A platform for allies by
Daeun Lim + Francis

Grassroots Activists often lack financial or institutional support. The long-term goal of this concept is to collect international support, i.e. long-distance allies, which can help Kenyan grassroots activists in diverse ways. It starts with a designed visual identity to empower them as a group.


A film by
Jella Lena van Eck + Lucia

Enforced disappearance is a known issue for communities in Mexico but it lacks international awareness. This concept for a new way of filming, which can raise international awareness and empathy for the victims of enforced disappearances intends to develop a new filming technique. It will tell the stories of the victims through what they have left behind.


Triangulating Evidence
Investigation tools by
Kornelia Dimitrova + Lottie

Illegal settlements are leading to conflict in Nicaragua between settlers and indigenous tribes. This concept for an investigation tool and method that combines law and cultural geography, seeks to support the indigenous tribes by creating the evidence for future court cases.