The international system, including the international human rights system, is awash with reports and meetings that too often have limited relevance or impact. In contrast, all URG outputs will be premised on delivering real change and real impact on issues of immediate relevance and importance to human rights around the world. Outputs will principally be the following:
- Regular Policy Reports and Policy Briefs on key human rights issues facing the international community – with recommendations for policy-makers and other stakeholders.
- High-level events in Geneva, New York (UN General Assembly), and elsewhere designed to present recommendations to policy-makers and generate change.
- Informal (i.e. non-UN and non-governmental) policy platforms where governments, NGOs, journalists, business leaders and other stakeholder groups can discuss pressing human rights issues and seek mutually beneficial solutions.
In all of this, the Group will look to harness the power of information technology and social media to bring international human rights protection mechanisms closer to people on the ground who need support and protection. The Group will be the first think-tank in the world that almost exclusively uses information technology and social media for its work and outreach. The power of new technology to spur change was clearly evidenced by the Arab Spring, and the Group will similarly aim to use technology to reach-out to and build coalitions with policy-makers, policy-influencers and human rights defenders around the world.
All reports prepared by the Group are published and distributed (for free) electronically via email, the web and through a dedicated URG app. Distribution will be to a comprehensive mailing list of decision makers in Geneva, New York, regional and national capitals, and at grassroots level. The Group’s reports are short, concise and to the point (usually around 15 pages long in total). It focuses on issues, questions and themes relevant to policy-makers, and are premised on generating policy-impact, including through clear, balanced and politically realistic policy recommendations or options. Each report will also be summarised in a 2-page (recto-verso) paper using info-graphics – for use by policy-makers and policy-influencers as an (internal and external) advocacy tool.
Similarly, URG events, for example launch events for the URG Policy Reports or press conferences, are premised on being accessible to all and engaging a wide range of decision makers and decision influencers around the world through the use of webcasting and Twitter feeds.
The URG will also focus on establishing strong media relations – both in order to strengthen press interest in the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, and to promote public awareness of the findings of URG analyses.
The URG believes that a Policy Report or Policy Brief is not the end of a project but the start. It is vitally important that the ideas and recommendations produced by any analysis are well-understood and taken-up by policy-makers. Thus, after the launch of a report or the holding of a meeting, the URG will undertake a series of follow-up actions, including roundtable discussions on conclusions and recommendations, bilateral meetings and press interviews.