Join our new team of panelists for the first episode of Season 5 of Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast, broadcasting from the Centre of Human Rights and Governance at the University of Cambridge. In this first episode, our panelists introduce themselves and jump into a conversation about the current state of human rights on the global scale and the critical issues that we will be covering this season. Drawing on their experiences and fields of study, our panelists discuss today’s most pressing human rights affronts, from the climate crisis to threats to democracy, from police brutality to declines in women’s rights, and interrogate our role andresponsibility as journalists to inspire and sustain action.

Following through on questions posed in Season 4 about where the state of human rights is headed, the panelists open with a conversation about the effects that the past year has had on global and local human rights – where have we advanced? Where have we regressed? In particular, the panelists raise the importance of engaging speakers from across the globe and across all walks of life. This season, we will be featuring interviews with a wide range of speakers, from entrepreneurs, to authors, to academics, and to activists – everyone who has a cutting edge vantage point to deepen our understanding of today’s human rights issues.

The panelists also delve into the role of journalism and oversight in the human rights landscape. With ever-increasing access to stories from around the globe, the flattening of human stories into 240-character headlines, and the risk of social media fatigue, it is imperative that platforms such as ours provide the needed nuance in human rights stories and offer pathways to action. Furthermore, the panelists discuss the ways in which current watchdog organizations could amplify efforts to ensure that all nations are held to the same standard of transparency and equality. Finally, the panelists share their aims for the season ahead and describe the scope of the issues that we will be discussing.

Coming together from around the world and with different academic focuses, our panelists share a drive to understand the roots of today’s human rights issues by turning not only to history, but to the people who are experiencing these issues firsthand. This season, we invite you to join us as we speak with people who are on the frontlines of today’s more pressing injustices about the realities of human rights defenses and how we can stand together for a better, fairer future.