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15 inspiring human rights quotes

© Jurgen Schadeberg

1. “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

Nelson Mandela, South African civil rights activist


© 2014 Getty Images

2. “If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. If you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.”

Laverne Cox, American actress


© Amnesty International Norway

3. "It means a great deal to those who are oppressed to know that they are not alone. Never let anyone tell you that what you are doing is insignificant." 

Desmond Tutu, South African civil rights activist


4. "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."

Clarence Darrow, American lawyer, member of the ACLU and death penalty opponent


©  Anders Hellberg

5. “Activism works. So what I’m telling you to do now, is to act. Because no one is too small to make a difference.”

Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate change activist and Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience


6. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, African-American civil rights activist


© Stig Michaelsen

7. "The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who 'disappeared'. That's what the candle is for."

Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International


© Amnesty International / Ilya van Marie

8. "Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free."

14th Dalai Lama


© Dominique Francik Simon

9. “You cannot kill the truth. You cannot kill justice. You cannot kill what we are fighting for.”

Jean Dominique, Haitian democracy activist


© Getty Images

10. "We are way more powerful when we turn to each other and not on each other, when we celebrate our diversity… and together tear down the mighty walls of injustice."

Cynthia McKinney, American politician and activist


© AFP / Getty Images

11. “A political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above it, below it, and within it is no struggle at all.”

Arundhati Roy, Indian author



© Amnesty International

12. “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education activist


© Getty Images

13. “Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted.”

A. Philip Randolph, African-American civil rights campaigner


© Cover / Getty Images

14. “Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight.”

Bob Marley, Jamaican singer


© Getty Images

15. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Robin Williams, American comedian