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Listening In: Our list of the best human rights and civil resistance podcasts

Reading time: 4 minutes

We’ve done some podcast exploring and created a list of our favorite human rights and civil resistance episodes. Listen in on interviews and conversations by activists, lecturers, public radio broadcasters and more! This resource roundup is accessible to ALL users and anyone wanting to learn more about human rights topics and global social movements.

Featured episodes

General Human Rights and Civil Resistance 

Are human rights really universal? 

A great intro or refresher on human rights. A well researched and documented BBC production. 2 episodes, 30 minutes each. Available online.

Civil Resistance: The Power of the People 

The perfect introduction to the subject of civil resistance. With accessible language and engaging speakers, the episode effectively incorporates examples of civil resistance movements from around the world. Hosted by Public Radio International1 episode, 50 minutes. Available online + Apple Podcast App.

Global Dispatches Episode 39: Erica Chenoweth

Are you familiar with nonviolent civil resistance movements? Whether the answer is yes or no, this conversation with Professor Erica Chenoweth in this podcast explores the topic in depth. You will learn about the success of nonviolent movements contrasted with violence and hear about real-world examples. 1 episode, 45 minutes. Available online + AppleiTunes.

Global Dispatches Episode 135: Maria J Stephan

If you’re wanting more information on nonviolent resistance movements connected with human rights, this episode is for you. Dr. Maria J. Stephan has worked with Professor Erica Chenoweth in documenting the success and impacts of nonviolent movements. This episode explores the rise and mobilization of authoritarianism worldwide. 1 episode, 50 minutes. Available online + Apple Podcast App.

Podcast categories

Human Rights Law

On Human Rights

Are you looking for someone to lay some groundwork on international human rights law? The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law podcast is a great starting point. Focused on international human rights mechanisms, this podcast provides practical information on how these mechanisms work. These episodes are very accessible to people who may not come from a human rights background and provide an engaging conversation for the listener. Episodes range from 15-90 minutes. Available online + Apple Podcast App. 

We reviewed 2 episodes of this podcast that we recommend:

  1. “The Decade: A Vehicle to Combat Anti-Black Racism”
  2. “What the Environment has to do with Peacebuilding?”

Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast by Centre of Governance and Human Rights

If you’d like to gain additional perspectives on how human rights law works in practice, this podcast will allow you to do so. The podcast profiles prominent human rights law professors and experts, and explores questions like “Is Human Rights a Fable?” (Episode from March 25). Episodes range from 35-60 minutes. Available on Soundcloud + GooglePlay + Apple Podcast App + Soundcloud.

Human Rights News

Podcast Semanal

Amnesty International’s Spanish podcast is a great way to stay up-to-date on human rights news and ongoing struggles regarding human rights defenders. If you want reliable news to drive your activism, we recommend listening to this podcast. Episodes range from 3-5 minutes. Available online.

Humanitarian Work

Humanitarian Assistance Podcast

For those interested in humanitarian work and/or international humanitarian law this podcast is for you. Created with support from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the content is conflict-focused and very relevant to current human rights crises. New episodes air 2-3 times per month with topics-based conversations as well as profiles on humanitarians from around the globe. Episodes range from 25-90 minutes. Available online + iTunes. We could not find it on Google Play.


Justice Matters by Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Looking for a shorter podcast that delves into current and specific global human rights events and news? Tune into: 

  1. “Justice Matters: Special Episode with Malachy Browne and Declarations Human Rights Podcast” focuses on investigations of human rights issues and the media coverage/bias in how we get this news. It centers on the difficulties of reporting on certain events from the journalist/media perspective versus the human rights defender or activist perspective.
  2. “Justice Matters with Jacqueline Bhaba” is very relevant to the current immigration crisis in the U.S. This is an engaging podcast interview with Bhaba addressing the connections between human rights conventions to the current global “migrant crisis”.

Episodes range from 15 – 35 minutes. Available on Google Play + Apple Podcast App, PlayerFM and Simplecast.

Rights Not Reserved by The National Center for Civil and Human Rights

This podcast does a wonderful job of bringing awareness to human rights and civil rights activism in the United States. Connections are drawn between the global human rights movement and the American civil rights movement. We recommend this podcast for those looking to get involved with human rights activism in the United States! Episodes range from 30 – 60 minutes. Available online + Apple Podcast App. We could not find it on Google Play.

Human Rights Information

 Human Rights a Day by Stephen Hammond

This channel has the shortest podcasts on our list! These 2-minute episodes involve Stephen Hammond reading excerpts from his book “Steps in the Rights Direction”, focused on human rights achievements and struggles that inspired Canada as well as the world. Episodes are 2 minutes. Available online + Google Play + Apple Podcast App.

Human Rights Defenders

Rights on the Line by Frontline Defenders  

If you’re interested in the work of human rights defenders, this is a perfect podcast. 

The global human rights organization Frontline Defenders actively reports on the status of human rights defenders and their protection. Episodes range in topic from elections taking place around the world to the targeting of human rights defenders. Episodes range from 5 – 35 minutes. Available online + Google Play + Apple Podcast App + Soundcloud.

Did we forget to include a podcast? Share your feedback by leaving a comment or recommendation below. We are especially interested in podcasts in languages other than English!

Email us at [email protected], browse our organizations and initiatives in our online library leave us a comment on Facebook, tweet us @rightsconnected and interact with us on Instagram @rightsconnected.

This blog post was created by members of the HRC team: Program Assistant Rosalie Candau, founder Nicola Barrach-Yousefi and edited by Education and Communications Associate Sabrina Sanchez.

Featured image borrowed from Content Insights article, “The future of journalism: Where does podcasting fit in?”

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