Johannesburg, South Africa
Fellow Since 1994
This profile was prepared when Iain Morton was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
Political violence racked South Africa in the 1980s and early 1990s. As a Regional Organizer of the National Peace Secretariat, formed in 1990 as part of the transition to democracy, Iain became all too familiar with the crisis management "band aid" approach to conflict intervention. With the advent of democracy, Iain sees a unique opportunity to build an enabling environment in which people can relate to one another in ways that respect their differences and acknowledge their commonalties. To do this, he has developed a rights education approach that contextualizes the ideas about human rights in every day life and enables people to create the conditions under which citizens can fulfill their true potential. His workshop methodology enables participants to create their own "Bill of Rights" specifically for their community. In practice, it enables antagonists to work together to create "rules to live by" in a process that transforms relationships into mutual respect and affirmation.