unnamed.png Human rights and democratic government are inseparable. As Robert Kennedy said in South Africa in 1966, “The essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer--not just to the wealthy not just to those of a particular religion, but to all its people.”

Where people have little or no say in who will lead them or what laws will govern them, human rights suffer, especially the rights of minorities and dissidents. The full protection of human dignity therefore requires that every person have a say in how they are governed, not only through the right to vote, but also through the fundamental rights to the freedom of speech, expression, and assembly.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights partners with local civil society groups throughout the world to call for free and fair elections, protected speech, and an open press--the cornerstones of democratic governance. 

Regions Where We Address Political Participation

  • Americas

    From continuing Robert Kennedy's efforts with American farmworkers to working to end violence against women in Latin America, our programs in the Americas seek to protect the vulnerable, end corruption, and ensure respect for the dignity of each person throughout the region.

  • Asia

    Supporting Nobel laureates in their quests to end child labor and empower the impoverished. Bringing human rights education to the foothills of Nepal. Standing with civil society in Bangladesh. Our work in Asia carries us far afield as we fulfill our pledge to stand with the bravest people on Earth, wherever they are. 

  • Africa

    Our work in Africa is as diverse as the continent itself. We fight for LGBT rights in Uganda, advocate for civil society in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and The Gambia, and help bring lifesaving technology to Kenya.

  • Europe

    Headquartered in a prison that has been transformed into a beacon of freedom, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe works with experts, advocates, and teachers to promote freedom and justice across the continent and beyond.

Our Programs Addressing Political Participation

  • Partners for Human Rights

    Our lawyers and experts join with our partners in the field to create real change, fulfilling Robert Kennedy’s pledge that those with the courage to enter moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.

  • Speak Truth to Power

    A human rights education program that strives to create a global citizenry dedicated to the highest standards of justice and equality.

  • Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Young Leaders

    Robert Kennedy called young people “the world’s hope.” He believed in their energy, talent, and idealism—qualities that define the RFK Young Leaders, a group of innovative, influential, and philanthropic young adults dedicated to creating a more just and peaceful world.

  • Robert F. Kennedy Training Institute

    Welcoming human rights defenders, government employees, NGOs, and members of civil society from all over the world to learn new skills, strengthen their capacities, and share their knowledge.