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Poetry for human rights

Citation: Sumpton, Laila (2015) Poetry for human rights. In: Contemporary Challenges in Securing Human Rights. Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, pp. 81-87. ISBN 978-0-9931102-2-1


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

This is perhaps not the chapter you were expecting to find in this book, for how can an art have a practical application in the territory of human rights education, campaigning and programming? I would argue that any art can be applied with a human rights-based approach, but that the compact, urgent and linguistically layered nature of poetry suits human rights work well. I will look at ‘Poetry for human rights’ from three perspectives: poetry for personal resilience; poetry for human rights education and campaigning; and poetry for voice and empowerment, which charts my own journey into this area of work.

Additional Information: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights offered at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, we are pleased to publish a commemorative edited volume on human rights themes authored by distinguished alumni and faculty.
Creators: Sumpton, Laila and
Official URL:
Subjects: Human Rights & Development Studies
Keywords: human rights, refugee protection, women’s human rights, tax justice, business and human rights, poetry, rights in the digital age
Divisions: Human Rights Consortium
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Collections: Contemporary Challenges in Securing Human Rights
  • 6 November 2015 (published)
  • 1 November 2015 (accepted)


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