Back Campaigns and communication for inclusion

Purpose: Lisbon, Portugal, developed a programme (“Somos os Direitos que temos” – We are our rights) targeting more awareness towards diversity, human rights, and inclusion. The awareness of the rights that are incumbent on each one, their capacity for participation and citizenship, is another of the relevant aspects to which initiatives such as this respond.

Stimulus/Rationale: The programme meant to “re-write” what it means to be a Lisbon Citizen, to include all different identities and show the city acknowledges and is proud of its Diversity, and at the same time tackle discrimination.  Advisor Sérgio Xavier identified the prejudices "that it is urgent to talk about": discrimination against gypsy ethnicity, people from social neighbourhoods, homosexual and transsexuals.The promotion of equality is an obligation of the municipality", reinforced councillor João Carlos Afonso.

Process: This campaign is part of a larger project that entailed moments to listen to the needs and daily fights of different citizens, engage them in the project and training and awareness raising sessions for several groups.


  1. “Human Rights Academy”: a week-long encounter among people of diverse origins and characteristics, to develop a universal culture of Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship in Lisbon, through training and awareness-raising, both of citizens and organisations in the city. “Espaço a Brincar” (Playing Space) also played a role in the promotion and education for the Rights of Children and Young People and Human Rights in general, one of the four basic pillars of human rights education of which the school and the Somos program are also part.
  2. Public Campaign: Posters were distributed all over the city, at bus stops, kiosks and other public spaces. Of the four posters planned for the campaign to combat prejudice in Lisbon, the city highlights four: one with Cátia Figueiredo, president of the ex aequo network, it can be read that "every day she fights against discrimination" and that although she was "judged for being a lesbian, today she no longer hides". Also scattered throughout Lisbon are the posters with Bruno Oliveira who fights everyday against ethnic discrimination of Roma and with Carla Moreira who denounces social and economic discrimination. The fourth poster features Kiki, a transsexual. In 50 years, she confesses to living with discrimination "almost every day", which is why she has joined campaigns to "humanise those who are so often on the margins" within Lisbon.
  3. Health Access: Furthermore, in cooperation with the Portuguese Ministry of Health, the City of Lisbon partnered with local NGOs and hospitals to create manuals about health in several languages. The leaflets were designed in partnership with local groups of migrants that were able to raise the most pressing topics to discuss including pregnancy, birth and STD control, diabetes, etc. as well as the images used to describe each subject. Mediators from the designated communities were hired to moderate conversations with local groups, develop the texts and translate them.

Impact: Referring to the importance of Somos, councilmen João Afonso stresses the importance of continuing with this project and the need to permanently strengthen our rights.

Regarding the Human RIghts Academy, four editions were held, each edition of the training lasted six days, and six trainings were developed engaging sixty participants as well as more than twenty organisations. The closing sessions were marked by the presentation of a summary of learnings of the various groups, thus contributing to the creation of a culture of human rights in the city.

João Afonso, the councilmen for Social Rights of the Lisbon City Council at the time, said that it is necessary to "look at the world around us and realise that this is what we are here for,  in a collective effort to make the world a better place and without education for human rights and democracy, it is unrealistic to expect people committed to these causes."

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