The Franciscan family has one of the richest history when it comes to the advocacy of human rights that traces to St, Francis himself especially in his 1220 “Letter to the Rulers of the People,” in which he encouraged civil authorities to be mindful of the Gospel truths. Moreover, he advocated for the treatment of human beings with human dignity, as made in the image of God, from whom they derive their rights and duties. He saw his duty as interceding before those with power in favour of the just cause of the Gospel: the message of love, mercy, peace, and justice for God’s children.

Many organizations involve themselves in this advocacy for human rights. The difference lies in what drives us. We begin by looking at the human being as created in the image of God, and this calls for respect of his or her dignity. He or she must be treated with the dignity that he or she deserves. Moreover, the fact that one is a human being entails that one has rights, and hence, our fight for the rights of the unborn and less privileged, those who cannot defend their rights.

Hence, all our activities about human rights advocacy are based on respect for human dignity, and the promotion of a dignified life. Franciscan advocacy for human rights calls on leaders to use their power in ways that promote peace, protect creation, and support the well-being and human dignity of all people, especially those in a situation of poverty or on the margins.

We also collaborate with other organizations and institutions that promote human rights. Our activities also aim at advocating for the respect and protection of human rights in the context of the increasing criminalization of social protest and poverty.