As individuals, we may disagree on many issues, from philosophy to politics, to what constitutes proper nutrition. But if there is one topic everyone recognizes as tremendously important, it’s that everyone is entitled to basic human rights. One of the biggest challenges to getting people the rights they deserve as human beings, however, is awareness. And many human rights activist organizations have turned to visualization to help inform the public about issues going on in the world. At Visual.ly, we recognize this struggle to inform, so we’ve decided to open up a Human Rights topic on our newly redesigned site. This topic will provide a place for people to educate themselves about many of the humanitarian movements around the planet. To help kick off the category and raise awareness, here are 12 visualizations about humanitarian issues. 1. One of the oldest attempts to use visualization to raise awareness about a human rights issue is the Description of a Slave Ship by Cheryl Finley in 1789. More than 10,000 copies of the graphic were printed and distributed, making horrible atrocities painfully visible. The awareness this raised helped lead to a public outrage about the slave trade.
2. Unfortunately, human trafficking still takes place today. Human Rights in Mexico takes a look at some of these issues happening in our neighbor to the south (the infographic is in Spanish).
3. Human Displacement is also an issue. People have to leave their homes for all sorts of reasons beyond their control. This is a look at how many people were displaced in 2011, by country of origin.
4. Many of these people are displaced due to poor working conditions or conflicts over natural resources. Conflict Minerals looks at some of these resources and the regions they are from.
Another reason is sexual abuse. The following three graphics deal with sexual abuse around the world. 5. The Affect of Sexual Violence Throughout a Woman’s Life: A static graphic about the life-long impact of sexual abuse.
6. The Time is Now is a great infovideo about sexual abuse worldwide.
7. Child Marriage is also a problem, as covered by this fantastic interactive.
8. Unicef sends out tons of supplies around the world to help children. All of these supplies provide potential education space, and Unicef has opted to use the space on Micronutrient Powder Boxes for infographics.
9. Not all human rights issues take place in non-industrialized nations. The US has its own human rights challenges, as The U.S. Maternal Healthcare Crisis points out.
10. Human rights issues are almost always complex, and this can make them difficult to explain. Sahel Crisis does a very good job of breaking down the issues and showing how they are being addressed.
11. Some human rights issues are not about life and death, but about quality of life. Pride Parades Around the World shows the progress of achieving equality for people of all sexual orientations.
12. Not all graphics report on unchangingly grim conditions, either. There are some success stories, as Committing to Child Survival shows.
As human beings, we all have basic rights that we deserve. We also have a duty to help other human beings who are not getting these basic rights. There are lots of organizations doing their best to help with these issues, but one of their biggest struggles is making other people aware of them. We hope the new Human Rights category on Visual.ly helps raise awareness! Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visual.ly, and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC, with an undergraduate degree in Architecture.