14 September 2005, 01:25
The publication offered to the reader summarises the results of the project New Technologies in Human Rights which is Russia's first experience of using social marketing in human rights advocacy.
Campaigns were conducted in three regions as part of the project: Ryazan, Perm, and Rostov. Steps were taken in each of the above regions to urge the population to seek that some or other human rights are observed.
Two campaigns were conducted in Perm: one to protect orphans' rights and one to protect schoolchildren's rights. Legal instruction for high and higher school students (16-24 years old) was organised in three Rostov region cities. A campaign against the war in Chechnya ran in Ryazan, aiming at all cohorts in the city.
In keeping with the main principles of social marketing, each campaign was preceded by a study of the ?demand: political views and aesthetic preferences of the population. The nation's leading sociological services (Yuri Levada Centre, Validata) carried out public opinion polls. Focus-groups were also held among the cohorts supposed to be the target audience for the planned activities.
Once a campaign was over, new public opinion polls were conducted based on which we were able to assess its performance.
Surveys confirmed that the use of PR and advertising technology in human rights advocacy turned out to be a success.
Thus, in Ryazan the number of those who think ?troops should be withdrawn immediately regardless of casualties from Chechnya grew 39% to 54% after the campaign, while the number of those who believe the ?war should be continued till the victory shrank 13% to 6%.
Over 9,000 people attended the photo exhibition where Chechnya war pictures were shown. (Cf.: Two to three thousand took part in the most numerous antiwar meeting recently.)
Growing numbers of people willing to become foster parents became one of the most significant results of our work in Perm. Their number more than doubled as the campaign was running in the autumn of 2003.
More than a half (57%) of the Novocherkassk, Rostov region, residents surveyed remember what slogans accompanied our actions. Seventy-eight per cent of young people learnt about free legal clinics for youth established as part of our project.
Our work on social marketing campaigns caused a response in the media, including international. The publication features excerpts from articles about the project published in the most influential of them: The Washington Post and The Economist. The closing section summarises campaign results and formulates conclusions for all those who would like to use our experience to run similar activities.