What is ‘rights-based messaging’?

Written by Katie Northcott, AmplifyChange

‘Rights-based’ means the content you share is centred in and promotes human rights.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is a term that underlines efforts to improve SRHR outcomes of every individual. This can be through changing service delivery, legal frameworks, justice systems, social norms, or individual knowledge. The overarching goal is to ensure that everyone has the right to make decisions freely about their own bodies.

International treaties state that SRHR is an important component of human rights, inextricably linked to right to life, health, privacy, non-discrimination, education, and freedom from torture.

They emphasise that the holistic wellbeing of each individual is central and paramount in the fulfilment of human rights. Therefore, the realisation of every individual’s human rights is the goal of the language in SRHR advocacy.

Rights-based language aims to empower rights holders (the individual) to claim their rights, as well as to encourage duty bearers (stakeholders) to meet their obligations under international, regional, and national laws.

Topics can also be approached from a public-health, harm-reduction, or reproductive-justice standpoint.

All support progress towards the individual having access to information, resources and services they need to fulfil their human rights.

Katie Northcott, AmplifyChange

Katie is a Technical Performance Manager at AmplifyChange. At her previous work at Population Institute, she conducted analysis for a wide-scale report on demographic vulnerability, as well as managed the organisation’s social media channels.

As a Community Health Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, she implemented youth sexual health programs and supported maternal health and family planning outreach services. She worked with non-profit organisations in the U.S. advocating for women’s rights in the fields of abortion access, domestic violence, and HIV/AIDS.

Katie’s experience at these organisations included social media management, street campaigning, and crafting messaging for publications, as well as the development of advocacy and media toolkits. Katie has a MSc in Population and Development from London School of Economics and a BA in Economics, African Studies, and French from Northwestern University.