The period between 15 November 2019 and 31 January 2020 was assigned to WikiForHumanRights, a global initiative in the Wikimedia movement with the goal of filling content gaps on topics related to human rights. The call to action of the initiative consisted of two parts covering broad thematic areas – the first and core part focussed on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its creation whilst the second part had a special focus on the theme “Youth standing for human rights.” About a dozen of the Wikipedia communities joined the initiative with activities aimed at writing content in their languages and additional efforts were put to enrich Wikidata. There were also two lists of proposed topics as a guidance for participants, where the first covered the thematic area of the core part with topics on declarations, institutions and important historical personalities heralding the future human rights activism, and the second covered topics related to the youth theme.
What did the Macedonian Wikipedia community do?
The localised initiative on the Macedonian Wikipedia included three events:
- A Human rights editing day on 10 December 2019
- A Human rights activists editing weekend from 25 to 26 January 2020
- A Human rights edit-a-thon on 7 February 2020
The first two events employed the successful model of editing days and weekends as writing initiatives during a 24-hour period and a weekend, respectively, intended to encourage online participation by experienced editors. The editing day was purposely scheduled on the Human Rights Day. For the sake of directing participants towards necessary missing articles, a list of topics was created and a recent publication in Macedonian was appended as a reference work. The editing weekend engaged editors to write articles on human rights activists with reference to the lists of proposed topics from the global initiative.
The edit-a-thon involved more preparatory work as its main intent was to reach out to interested parties advocating for human rights, which resulted in going shortly past the initiative’s original run. This event took place in the co-working space of American Corner Skopje after Shared Knowledge extended partnership with the local Institute for human rights. On top of the thematic area in focus, the edit-a-thon well addressed the gender gap issue because all new editors at the event were females.
Outcome and future plans
The initiative involved a total of 14 editors who created or improved 40 articles on the Macedonian Wikipedia with substantial coverage of topics from the proposed lists. Following the successfully held edit-a-thon, there is an interest for future collaboration between Shared Knowledge and the Institute for human rights on similar initiatives.