Human Rights and (Self)Care - Looking Inward

Featuring Ivana Radačić Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls

What is our motivation to work in the human rights field? 

What do we want to achieve and how do we do it? 

While we as human beings are wired to help others in need due to our inter-connectedness, some of our motivations might lie in a deep but not fully recognized need to address our own trauma.  

Moreover, a lot of human rights discourse is based on the idea of fighting against, which supports the idea of separation and promotes dualistic understanding of the world: perpetrator v. victim, good v. bad, us v. them. We, the human rights defenders, thus often end up exhausted, further traumatized, while the cycle of oppression goes on. Despite all of the energy invested in changing of external structures and norms for so many years, human rights violations are continuously happening. 

In this gathering, we will investigate why is this so and what can we do to change it. We will have an opportunity to re-vision how to engage in alleviating suffering of all living beings and how to co-create the world of unity and peace. This will require us to look at how we relate to our own suffering and trauma and how we treat our body-mind-spirit system.  

  • Is our relationship to our bodies based on the domination of the mind, is our mindset based on domination of negativity
  • How is our relationship with ourselves influencing our relationship with the world?  
  • Why do we need a change of consciousness, if we want to create a meaningful change in the world? 
  • Are we connected to our spirit?

We will also share different practices of embodiment and spirituality that help us be (more) whole and discuss what influence that has on our efforts at (co)creating more just societies. Finally, we will have an opportunity to experience some practical exercises for relaxation and opening of our minds, hearts and bodies. 

About Ivana 

My name is Ivana Radačić, I am a Doctor of Law (UCL), employed as a research advisor at the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar (Croatia). Since 2017 I have also been a member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls. I have been working in the field of human rights more than 20 years. My main research, teaching, and advocacy interest areas have been women’s rights; and gender, sexuality and the law, and my approach is socio-legal. My current research project is on sex work.  

As a human rights expert I have had an opportunity to teach (and study) at various institutions in different countries and continents, work at different international institutions (UN and the European Court of Human rights) and cooperate with various actors in the human rights filed – international agencies, NGOs and sometimes state actors. 

At some point in my life, I realized that my work on changing the social (and legal) norms and structures needs to be supplemented with self-development practices. In 2019 I finished a four-year training on integral body-oriented psychotherapy, and last year I finished Kundalini yoga teacher training. I have been exploring various Shamanic practices and I absolutely love conscious dance practices (5 rhythms, Movement Medicine) and jamming (I love singing, and sometimes play cello and djembe). 

Registration Required: 

Organized and Sponsored by:  

The Human Rights Practice Program,  Center for Compassion Studies, and Global Studies at the University of Arizona 



10 a.m. to Noon March 28, 2022


Online - preregistration required - session is FREE

Event Contacts

William Paul Simmons