About the Project

About the Project

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world…” Eleanor Roosevelt

In the period 2020 – 2023, Partners Bulgaria Foundation initiated the project “Human Rights Lens” in cooperation with the Academy of Human Rights, Norway and with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. All responsibility for the content of the document belongs to the authors of the content and under no circumstances can it be assumed that it reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Bulgaria Active Citizens Fund.

The aim of the project is to increase young people’s understanding of human rights and invite them to look at their community through the lens of human rights issues. Through photographs, young people express their opinion on human rights and the development of democracy in their city. Over 80 young people from Montana, Varshets, Gotse Delchev and Blagoevgrad were trained through video laboratories, in which they studied images of human rights topics and learned to create them. Experts from the Partners Bulgaria Foundation introduced the young people to the art of creating photographs and short video films.

This digital exhibition features selected photographs created by students. They are divided into six thematic categories: Mental Health, Discrimination, Identity, Climate and Environment, Freedom of Expression, Social Inequality. Photo projects can often be linked to several human rights at the same time. Each photo project includes a description and follow-up questions for class discussion. The photographs of young people can be used in civics classes and in teaching human rights. They draw attention to specific articles in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international conventions.

Human Rights Lens presents a project activity focused on the study of democracy and human rights and it is suitable for high schools. Through various exercises, students are challenged to reflect on human rights issues and democratic dilemmas in the local community or on various topics that concern them. Students can then express their reflections through photography or short video films. With a mobile phone or a camera, they record moments of the life of their community, looking at the lives of people in the country through the human rights lens. They reflect on events, people or ideas expressing discrimination, social inequality, problems of the environment, health care, labor, etc.

The Human Rights Academy, Norway has a similar project that can serve as source of ideas and inspiration for students. The photographs of Norwegian youth can be found on the website of the Human Rights Academy:


Subsequently, students can create Human Rights Lens exhibitions at school, in the local library, in outdoor spaces in parks and squares, during festivals and holidays.

The images show moments of Partners Bulgaria Foundation video labs with the youth, held in 2022, as well as examples of photographs reflecting human rights topics.