Page 1

Human Rights Icon Design & Development Phase 3 Development

Introduction At the beginning of the project, we divided our ideas into four categories: Silhouettes, Symbols, Abstractions and Metaphors. is four concepts allowed us to explore and understand dierent ways to solve the iconic representation of each human right proposed for this challenge. After this first exploration, and as the result of the feedback received, we started to look for an unifiying concept, one theory to sew up all the possibilities presented before. It was clear that this new theory was already brewing in our minds when we decided to present our four exploration concepts, the variety of possibilities was a very interesting path to face the multicultural nature of this project. At this second instance of the development we defined our leading theory: î Łe Diverse Nature of Mankind and established three pillars: the icons have to be Positive, Multicultural and Emotive. Once we settled this statements we started to shape the icons presented in the next pages.

î Łe Diverse Nature of Mankind Concept Pillars




How to read this presentation Index of pictograms

Icon Design & Development

freedom of religion, conscience and belief Everyone has the freedom to believe and think what one wishes and to practice whatever religion we choose. is is one of the most basic and far-reaching human rights. We have right to practice religious rites and customs, teach our religious faith, worship in groups. We also have the freedom to change or abandon one’s religion, protection from forced conversions and, of course, the freedom not to practice a religion if we choose not to. Recognition of this right is essential to promote mutual understanding and religious tolerance. Controversies over this right may arise over whether religious symbols are allowed or restricted in public spaces. ese debates occur in both secular states and ones with state-sanctioned religions.

group + multicultural + union

freedom of assembly & association Joining together to organize around common causes and shared beliefs is a popular way for ordinary citizens to make changes in the world or have their voices heard. is right refers to associating with those one chooses, forming and joining political parties, trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, or any other voluntary associations. e right to peacefully gather in public areas or hold public demonstrations can only be restricted or suspended when governments believe a threat to public safety and order exists. is can occur during states of emergency or times of war. Unfortunately, this can be used as a pretense in order to repress this basic right.

group + union

freedom of expression We all have the right to speak out and protest without fear of persecution, censorship or any other form of state interference or intimidation. Sharing information and ideas, voicing our opinions and engaging in public debate helps promote an open and democratic society. Our freedom to express ourselves is also necessary for our personal development as human beings and includes all forms of written and artistic expressions. Controversies arise over whether hurtful and oensive forms of speech can or should be restricted. In many countries, hate speech, a form of expression used to intimidate, degrade, or incite violence and discrimination against particular groups, is prohibited.

talk/opinion + multicultural + love

freedom of the press An independent media is essential to allow for the free and open circulation of information and ideas in order to better understand what is happening in the world today. We need an independent media to protect democratic values by forcing governments to be accountable for their actions. While governments may take measures to make sure the media does not libel or defame individuals or publish obscenity, censorship can take many forms as journalists are often prevented from freely gathering or disseminating information by governments or other powerful institutions or individuals. In many parts of the world, journalists are threatened and intimidated. In fact, journalism has become an increasingly dangerous profession as record numbers of reporters working in conflict areas have been assaulted and assassinated in recent years.

freedom + human + press

freedom of movement All internal borders that restrict people’s ability to freely move within a country for travel and work purposes are considered an impingement on this fundamental right. Freedom of movement includes rights of both emigration and immigration - the ability to leave one’s country and also to be able to freely return at a later date. is right also refers to the protection of asylum seekers, refugees, and the rights of traditionally nomadic peoples to maintain their way of life. Although large number of restrictions exist on freedom of movement internationally and border control has become increasingly militarized in many parts of the world in recent years, some argue that this right should not only refer to mobility within states but also between states – an international freedom of movement that does not presently exist.

movement + OK

freedom of dissent Standing up to challenge one’s government is not only a right but can under certain circumstances also be a responsibility. An important health indictor of any government is how it tolerates opposition. Dissent, whether in the form of peaceful protest or civil disobedience, allows people to voice controversial and unpopular ideas that challenge conventional wisdom or oppose oďŹƒcial government policies. When governments suppress dissent, they do it in many dierent ways, everything from subtle intimidation to moderate coercion to outright repression. When we recognize the value of dissent, we show tolerance for opposing points of view and open a space for respectful debate.

group + protest + reject

freedom of sexual orientation Everyone has the freedom of choice to love the person they love without fear. Freedom of sexual orientation is necessary to allow for the full development and autonomy of individuals and requires safe spaces for people to openly and freely express their sexual identities. is includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, and queer people. Sexual orientation is often used as a basis for discrimination and persecution, and sexual minorities are frequent targets of violence and other hate crimes. Currently, homosexuality is still criminalized in many parts of the world.  At the same time, legal recognition of same-sex partnerships is spreading and marriage equality is increasingly being understood as a human rights issue because it is a necessary condition of non-discrimination.

male + female + group + union

freedom to choose Not to be confused with the abortion debate, the freedom to choose is our freedom to decide our own path in life. is refers to our ability to vote and participate in government but also something much more. e larger goal of human rights is to allow for what the original Universal Declaration of Human Rights called the “full development of the human personality.” Our freedom means we can choose how we want to live our lives. ese freedoms can often come into conflict with traditional modes of authority in which individual choice is not valued.

group + union + reject

rights of children While we often think of human rights exclusively in terms of adults, children have human rights as well. Comprised of 54 articles, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was a landmark human rights treaty that was formally ratified in 1989. e treaty recognized the specific needs and rights of children, who are often the most vulnerable and exploited and are in need of special treatment and protection from harm. As a comprehensive treaty, it includes political, economic, social, and cultural rights of children that are needed to best encourage their growth and development. While the Convention attempts to set out principles to define what are the best interests of children, it also acknowledges that as children mature that are able to make certain decisions on their own and need to be able to exercise their rights for themselves and participate in society.

kid + kid + happiness + union

rights of mother earth e Right to a Healthy Environment considers the harmful eects that some of our more destructive activities have on the planet but only in relation to their negative consequences on human beings. A more recently developed and more radical position argues that if human beings have rights and inherent dignity, the planet earth should as well. After all, our planet can be seen as a living and breathing entity that has been exploited and mistreated by human beings that is now in need of protection from abuse. While this may seem fanciful, in 2011, Bolivia recognized the Law of Mother Earth, endowing nature with the rights of human beings, and a movement now exists to draft this right into a United Nations treaty.

earth + human + union

rights of women e struggle for gender equality has been a long and arduous one that continues today as inequalities and discrimination persist. Women still are underrepresented politically in governments throughout the world. Even today, several countries in the world exist that still have not granted women the right to vote. Domestic violence remains prevalent throughout the world. Barriers also exist to divorce, inheritance and child custody for many women. e Rights of Women include equal access to education, the right to start businesses, the right to work with equal pay, maternity leave, the right to a workplace free from harassment, and, more controversially, reproductive choice. e Rights of Women also refer to particular entitlements for women’s health, including access to maternal care. Despite important advances in the Rights of Women, poverty has become increasing a gender issue, as women represent up to 70% of the world’s poor.

human + female + freedom

rights of workers All people have the right to make a living. In today’s globalized world, most of the goods and products we consume are produced with labor from the developing world where there are fewer regulations in place for environmental protection or labor enforcement. Many work under inhumane and unsafe conditions where they are deprived of a basic wage that can assure an adequate standard of living and subjected to an unhealthy or dangerous work environment where there are no mechanisms to contest wrongful dismissals and unjust firings. In addition, over 200 million children under the age of 14 are forced to work. e rights to form a union, to a fair wage, humane treatment, and decent working conditions that may include paid overtime and annual vacations are the foundations of labour rights. e Fair Trade Movement emerged in order to allow consumers to be sure that the workers who produce the goods they consume have been treated fairly and are provided with a living wage.

group + work + union

rights of refugees Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their country as a result of natural disasters like tsunamis or earthquakes, political, religious, ethnic or racial persecution, war, genocide, and “ethnic cleansing”, or any other systematic human rights abuses. e paramount right of the refugee is to be able to receive protection and safe asylum from other countries and, above all, not be forced to return to the country that they are escaping where they may face torture, arbitrary imprisonment, starvation, or death. Over 14 million refugees exist in the world today. Although often viewed with suspicion when seeking refugee status, refugees have the right to go through a fair and impartial claim process. In addition, another problem exists of internally displaced peoples, over 25 million people who have been forced to flee their homes in order to escape harm but, not having crossed an international border, still reside within their country.

hand + home + human

rights of indigenous persons Indigenous peoples are the original inhabitants of lands that underwent processes of colonization. ere are an estimated 350 million indigenous peoples all across the global today. While their situations vary, many have gone through a similar history of land displacement, systematic discrimination, loss of language, culture, and religion and eorts of forced assimilation. As a result, indigenous peoples are often far more impoverished and marginalized than other citizens in their country. e Rights of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples emphasizes their right to self-determination, including self-government and management of natural resources as well as preservation of language and cultural traditions. In 2007, the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted in order to formally protect these values. After extensive debate, Canada finally endorsed the declaration in 2010.

group + sun-moon + gaze + earth

right to the language of my choice e need to protect linguistic diversity in the world today is an urgent one. According to some estimates, almost half of the world’s 7000 languages are endangered or at risk of extinction. In the current globalizing world in which a handful of languages dominate, linguistic rights are necessary to protect humanity’s cultural heritage and is an essential aspect of minority rights. In particular, in multi-ethnic countries, effective policies are needed to ensure that everyone has access to education and other essential services available in their native language.

multicultural + talk/opinion + union

right to shelter Everyone needs a roof over their heads but adequate shelter is more than just this. Our houses provide us with protection, security, sanitation, privacy, and so much more. Shelter is essential to protect human life. It provides us with a basic standard of living and to protect us from exposure to the elements, and as Canadians know, from extreme weather. Temporary shelters are often urgently required in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies. Although it is hard to estimate the exact number of people who lack shelter and debate even exists as what this means, many people around the world are deprived of this basic right. Over 100 million people are homeless in the world and more than a billion have inadequate shelter and are forced to live in abandoned buildings, shantytowns, squatter camps, and other informal settlements.

home + human

right to safety & protection Keeping people safe from harm and protecting them from violence is a paramount responsibility of states. In this sense, a positive obligation exists for states to provide for the security of its citizenry. is includes requirements to investigate and prosecute crimes, protect victims and witnesses, prevent domestic violence, and have adequate and accountable security forces. While the right to security of person is fundamental, what constitutes the international community’s responsibility to protect has generated enormous controversy. While an obligation exists to take collective action in the face of gross and systematic abuses, what a “right of humanitarian intervention” means and what it entails is still under debate

human + hug + love

right to water Imagine not having access to safe water to drink. Many of us take this basic and fundamental right for granted even though potable water is a limited resource. Contaminated water and lack of sanitation is one of the leading causes of disease and infant mortality in the world today. Water can be a physical scarcity in desert climates as well as an economic scarcity for those who cannot aord access to safe water. Privatization of water supplies is often a key issue of debate. Many argue that providing water services is an essential public good and that water should not be turned into a commodity that can be bought and sold. In future years, demand for safe water will increase as a result of growing population demands and the eects of climate change. Conservation will play a key role. As essential as water is, it was only in 2010 that the General Assembly of the United Nations oďŹƒcially recognized water as a human right.

water + sun/life

right to food Global hunger is one of the most serious problems facing the world today. 1 billion or more than 15% of the world’s population suers from chronic hunger, while an estimated 15 million children die each year from inadequate nutrition with 5 million dying from starvation. Freedom from hunger does not only refer to a right to food but also to the right to resources and productive means so that people can adequately feed themselves. A large problem is inadequate access to fertile land. Mobilizations to eradicate global hunger are currently centered on the concept of food security that examines all aspects of food cultivation, distribution, diet and nutrition, health and safety, aordability, and environmental sustainability.

food + tree + love

right to leisure & play Leisure and play are values that are not always adequately appreciated in the contemporary world. For adults, the right to leisure refers the right to rest and highlights the fact that everyone needs a break from work in order to relax. is requires reasonable limitations on working hours and can include the right to annual paid vacations and holidays or limitations on the number of hours that a person can work every day or week. While it may appear at first glance strange that playtime can be considered a serious human rights issue, leisure and play have an essential role in the healthy psychological, physical, and social development of children. Adults have a responsibility to ensure that children are provided not only with the available time to play but also with a safe environment that is conducive for leisure activities. e United Nations formally recognized the importance of this right in Article 31 of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child in which states recognize the importance of leisure and recreational activities and take an active effort in order to promote children’s participation in them.

food + tree + happiness

right to peace Although peace is often thought to be the absence of war, it is not merely defined by a negative. Peace requires the active engagement of all peoples in order to prevent all forms of violence. Positive action can involve disarmament and demobilization, the pursuit of transitional justice in the aftermath of conflict, reconciliation and reintegration, and expanded institutions and structures to better allow for the amicable settlement of global conflicts and disputes. e Right to Peace has only been recognized recently but is considered to be a prerequisite for the full enjoyment of all basic human rights.

group + union + love

right to a healthy environmental Environmental protection has only recently been recognized as a critical human rights issue. In fact, no human rights issue might be quite so urgent. In the context of human-induced climate change, the accelerating depletion of natural resources combined with increased and growing demand, and threats to biodiversity in shrinking ecosystems, environmental protection is essential in order to protect future generations who will inherit our planet. A right to a healthy environment can include the right to water, air, and land unpolluted by harmful toxins, waste, and chemicals, the protection of forests, the humane treatment of animals, and development of policies emphasizing conservation and sustainability.

earth + tree + union

right to education According to human rights treaties, all people have access to free and compulsory primary education. Unfortunately, in practice, millions are deprived of this basic right, as governments have not met their obligations to implement this right. Two main challenges are ensuring that everyone has equal access to this right without discrimination based on gender, poverty, or other factors and that the quality of education is high. Education should promote human rights values like tolerance and mutual understanding. In this sense, the right to education facilitates other rights creating empowered, literate and engaged citizens capable of participating in their governance. Even more, education is needed to teach essential skills that provide training for future employment and thus ensure future economic prospects.

book + hand

right to inclusion & access We all have dierent abilities but some of us have health conditions or physical and mental impairments that prevent us from being fully able to access physical environments, products, and services. Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 10% of the global population, the vast majority of whom reside in the developing world. Universal Design argues that services should be made available, goods should be made usable, and spaces should be made accessible to everyone. Universal Access allows the fullest respect for the dignity of disabled people and leads to their fullest participation in society, broadening and enhancing all of our lives.

group + hug + union

freedom from oppression: bullying Bullying is a learned behaviour that involves the systematic intimidation, aggression, and coercion by some individuals over others with the objective of gaining power and control. Bullying can take many dierent forms, both physical and psychological, and occurs to people of all ages everywhere from the workplace to the home although it is an especially prevalent and harmful problem for young people. Once most commonly found on school playgrounds, as communication technologies have developed and expanded, cyber-bullying has become increasingly prevalent. Although once dismissed as a harmless rite of passage or even character building, bullying is associated with long-term negative social and psychological consequences, including violent retaliation and suicide. Early outside intervention is needed to eectively stop bullying and to show that it is not an acceptable or normal behaviour.

human + oppression + reject

freedom from oppression: racism Racism is the attribution of traits and aptitudes to peoples based largely but not exclusively on their skin color and other perceived physical characteristics in addition to geographic origins. While scientists have systematically proven that race has no biological basis, as an ideologically based and hierarchical system of classification of peoples, race remains a powerful concept that is still prevalent in the world today. As a form of discrimination, racism fosters hatred and negatively impacts how people interrelate with each other. Racism is an insidious problem because it can often be very subtle and implicit, even unconscious. Freedom from racial discrimination is necessary for equality and equal opportunity when it comes to work, housing, and access to other services. Racial prejudice needs to be actively combated both on an individual level and on a systematic one, particularly in workplace and educational environments. Freedom from racism can come into conflict with freedom of expression as inciting racial hatred is criminalized in many countries throughout the world.

human + multicultural + union

freedom from oppression: torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of physical or psychological pain and suering on someone as a means of inflicting humiliation on them or obtaining information. Defined as cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, torture is never permissible although states sometimes resort to it in the context of terrorism. In attempting to justify certain activities, government oďŹƒcials may attempt to argue that a dierence exists between coercive interrogation techniques and torture. Since the goal of torture is to break the individual, these methods represent a deliberate assault on the autonomy and physical and psychological integrity of a human being and can never be justified. In the end, torture is not only dehumanizing for the victims but also for the perpetrators. For victims, torture can leave permanent physical and psychological scars, and medical services are often required to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

human + oppression + freedom

freedom from oppression: slavery & trafficking As an unfortunate consequence of our globalised world, slavery, although formally eradicated, is a growing problem. In fact, modern slavery has become one of the major crimes in the contemporary world, although a hidden and invisible one. Although modern slavery can be hard to define and difficult to distinguish from other forms of economic exploitation, it is defined by the treatment of people as commodities that can be bought and sold where there is the use or threat of violence in order to control and intimidate them and restrict their mobility. Women and children are particularly vulnerable. Modern slavery cuts across ethnic and national boundaries and occurs throughout the world, taking place both in rich and poor countries through the trafficking of peoples between and within borders. Many victims are recruited into slavery through treachery and deception, often by people they know. Once trafficked, they are particularly vulnerable because they generally have no legal status, do not know the local language, and have nowhere else to go or the economic means to escape. Modern slavery also involves indentured servitude and debt bondage in which labor is demanded as a condition of repayment of usurious loans.

human + chain + freedom

stand up & take action We all need to stand up and take action, because human rights are not passive. ey require our eternal vigilance and the willingness to do something to ensure their protection and enforcement. While Stand Up/Take Action can refer to this general worldview of a human rights ethics, it can also refer more specifically to a yearly series of events associated with “Make Poverty History.� In order to call attention to extreme poverty in the world today, people across the world organize concerts, exhibitions, and other public events. We can change the world if only we stand up and take action together.

hand + speech/opinion + human

anks Human Rights Icon Design Development

CMHR Human Rights Icons  
CMHR Human Rights Icons