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As human beings, we are all entitled to basic freedoms and protections, regardless of our differences. Freedoms like being able to access an education. Protections like feeling safe in your home or community. These fundamental entitlements are our human rights.

We believe that there is no hierarchy of human worth; that we are all born equal and entitled to the same basic protections and freedoms, regardless of who we are. But the reality is that not all human beings are able to access their rights. Due to circumstance or prejudice, as a result of poverty or the behaviour of other people, many are blocked from living life free from fear, discrimination or restriction.

International Service puts human rights at the centre of what we do. Our work focuses on increasing people’s access to their rights and enabling them to change their futures for the better. For this reason, we work with people with disabilities who are blocked from taking a full and active part in their community; children and young people who are prevented from accessing an education; women who are held back from accessing work and generating an income that could support them and their families to break free from poverty.

The work that we do differs depending on the groups that we work with or the challenges that they face. We believe that everyone is equal, not the same.

We focus on people’s rights – because although poverty is the problem, increasing understanding of and access to rights is the key to sustainable and lasting change. Our livelihoods projects enable people to earn a fair income in the short-term, but by raising awareness about their right to earn an income and to participate in society, it empowers them for the long-term.

We are working alongside local communities to reduce poverty and its causes using an approach that puts local people right at the centre of their own change.

Change is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it is only through local ownership that change can be sustainable. Whilst our work might enable them to transform their communities, they are the change-makers.

The concept that all people on the planet are born with a core set of basic rights has a history stretching across centuries and multiple continents. Whilst we have had a long history of working within that global movement, when it comes to human rights, we are far more interested in where we are now – and where it is all going.