Diego Luna, the Mexican actor, producer, and advocate for freedom of expression, believes that independent journalism is essential, especially in countries like Mexico with a high level of impunity. The documentary film "State of Silence," produced by Luna and directed by Santiago Maza, portrays the risky reality that many Mexican journalists live in. For Luna and Maza, documentary films are a powerful tool to defend media freedom and spark change.

A new episode of the UN Human Rights Podcast explores how popular culture can challenge perceptions and reframe narratives about race, history and identity.

Representation is crucial for people of African descent as it shapes racial perceptions and can promote inclusion. In the , the Office of the 51勛圖 High Commissioner for Human Rights () explores how popular culture and arts can challenge perceptions and reframe narratives about race, history, and identity. Colombian journalist Edna Liliana Valencia worked as a consultant for Disney's Encanto, helping to portray Colombia's beauty and diversity accurately. Artist Anisha Thai expresses the beauty of diversity through dance and choreography, defying myths about being African and Asian. Human rights lawyer Dominique Day reflects on the first Decade for People of African Descent as an opportunity to focus on racial justice and non-discrimination.

Photo: OHCHR

Wendy Flores, a human rights defender from Nicaragua, had to leave her country after defending other victims and supporting their rights. She studied law and later joined the . The protests of April 2018 led by environmental groups, the rural peasant population and students against the government's slow and insufficient response to forest fires in the Indio Ma穩z Biological Reserve, resulted in the repression of the protesters, the criminalization of demonstrators and their arrests. More than 3,600 civil society organizations have been canceled in Nicaragua during the last five years. Flores fled Nicaragua due to the risk of being criminalized for defending human rights and putting her family in danger.

Thirty years since the end of Apartheid, South Africa still grapples with its legacy. Despite progress made to eliminate them, racism and discrimination are still prevalent in the country. The roots of racism run deep in the country's economic, spatial, and social fabric and reflect the legacy of oppression and subjugation. Dismantling these systems requires commitment, leadership, dialogue, and advocacy to implement anti-racist policies and promote equality, says Abigail Noko, Representative for the UN Human Rights Regional Office () of Southern Africa.

The Romani Memory Map for the Americas is a crowd-sourced initiative to recognize and honour sites of memory of the Romani community, from the United States to Argentina. Coordinated by UN Human Rights (), it aims to strengthen Roma rights and inclusion, advance public memory of Roma people and history, and combat anti-gypsyism. The project was launched on International Roma Day and aims to advance recognition of past violations of the human rights of Roma and their impact on the present in the Americas. Miklos, a Romani from Brazil, said memorialization is key to combat anti-gypsyism.

The UN Human Rights Council's historic resolution marks a pivotal step towards protecting the rights and dignity of intersex individuals worldwide, addressing discrimination, violence, and harmful practices.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed on 21 March to combat racism and eliminate all forms of racial bias. This years theme focuses on A Decade of Recognition, Justice, and Development: Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent. Martha Liliana Meza Castillo, a Colombian Black woman, sociologist, journalist, and human rights activist, promoted the International Decade to inform Afro-descendants about their rights and how they could be useful to them. Meza Castillo believes that the International Decade inspired the inclusion of an ethnic chapter in the negotiation of the  in Colombia.

Three women human rights defenders and peacebuilders were honored by the on . William Yuyada, Laila Alodaat, and Sara are supporting women and girls in their efforts for peace and have been working tirelessly to assist victims and their families and communities, identify the needs of women and marginalized groups, and much more. Their work is crucial in conflict settings, especially when women's voices are silenced or ignored.

Kids playing football.

Mary Harvey, Chief Executive of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights, highlights the intrinsic connection between sports and human rights values when sport is healthy and vibrant. With her extensive background as a former athlete on the USA womens football team and her involvement in bringing the FIFA World Cup to North America in 2026, Harvey brings a unique perspective to the discussion.

If we are trying to make human rights something that is more every day, sport provides that, that connection to people in an everyday way, she said.

In an of the , Harvey delves into the significance of sports in making human rights more accessible to people on a daily basis.

She emphasizes the power of sports as a platform for educating individuals about human rights in a relatable and everyday manner.

It is a wonderful way to educate people about human rights and that makes it very relevant for everyone. she concludes.

Photo: 穢 Getty

Scott Campbell, a senior human rights officer at , believes that while there is great potential in using AI and technology for good, we cannot rely on tech companies to do the right thing. Campbell urges both regulation and hard laws to carefully rein in tech companies to protect against potential human rights harms. He also encourages tech companies to apply the to their policies and products. The UN Guiding Principles are the non-binding global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights involving business activity.

Every year, thousands of migrants are killed or disappear while attempting the perilous journey to the U.S.-Mexico border, making it one of the world's riskiest and deadliest land routes for migrants, human rights groups say. Many are forced to migrate to escape poverty, violence and human rights abuses. Faced with increasingly restrictive migration policies and limited opportunities for safe and regular migration, many resort to unsafe and irregular routes. works with Member States, civil society organizations, national human rights institutions, migrants, families and other stakeholders to ensure access to justice and the protection of the human rights of all .

A comprehensive data mapping exercise spearheaded by in informal settlements in Serbia at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic uncovered that more than 30,000 Roma had little or no access to drinking water, over half lived without sewage services, and some 24,000 had limited or no electricity. The six-month effort identified 167,975 inhabitants in 702 Roma settlements and distributed 72,000 packages of essential food items, water, and protective gear to Roma households. The intervention strengthened Serbias capacity to gather and use data for broader Roma human rights and development efforts. As a result of this initiative, hundreds of Roma living in informal settlements now have safe drinking water.

For Iveth, the intersection of singing hip-hop and being a lawyer and human rights activist is seamless, as hip-hop's legacy of using music for protest and advocating change deeply influenced her perspective on social justice.

The stories of these young human rights champions serve as a source of inspiration, motivating others to take action and educate their communities on the importance of human rights.

Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman was 14 years old when he was trafficked from his native Honduras and smuggled by his captors into California. He was held prisoner and regularly drugged, alone in a dark and windowless room where he endured unimaginable suffering. Today, almost 20 years later, as an adult male survivor of child sexual exploitation and trafficking he has become an outspoken public advocate and an active member of survivors networks. He has also entered his second year as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the For 30 years, the Trust has been accompanying survivors by donating money to grassroots organizations that provide healthcare, shelter, food, legal aid, vocational training, education, income-generating activities and other support. In 2023, the Fund has aided more than 7,000 people.