6 ways human rights defenders can define a research question

Nov. 25, 2019

You need to make sure you are asking yourself the right questions before you begin researching an idea for a human rights campaign. This often starts with a research question. But how do you come up with the right research question? Here are six questions you should ask yourself to determine your topic and also ensure you do no harm. 

1. What do you want to achieve with the project? 
2. How is this work relevant and timely? And why should we care about this now? 
3. Where can you best leverage your existing networks?
4. Will your reporting inflame an already tense situation? 
5. Will you get someone in trouble or put them at risk in some way?
6. Will you create an excuse for human rights perpetrators to further violate human rights?

Want to give your research skills a boost for future human rights work? Check out CUNY’s free course on human rights testimony.