Actors for Human Rights

Actors for Human Rights was founded in 2006 and is a network of more than 700 professional actors across the UK who are dedicated to drawing public attention to human rights concerns. We respond to requests for rehearsed readings of our documentary plays and can go anywhere at any time.

Actors for Human Rights was inspired by and Australian network called Actors for Refugees, formed by actors Kate Atkinson and Alice Garner in 2001, in the wake of a series of particularly aggressive and controversial actions by the Australian government towards asylum seekers arriving by boat.

The UK network was launched in June 2006 at Amnesty International, London. There is also a German network directed by Michael Ruf 

Book a performance

We can perform at any time across the UK and normally perform in non-traditional venues, such as town halls, community spaces, workplaces, conference rooms, schools and universities. We ask organisations booking a performance to ensure there is an audience of at least 50 people.

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Get involved as an actor

We are always looking for performers to join our growing network, which now comprises well over 600 professional actors and musicians around the country. The performances are presented as rehearsed readings, so there is no need to learn lines and we rehearse on the day.

Contact us

10 things you can do

Seen one of our shows recently and want to know what you can do?
Click below to download a copy of our ’10 Things You Can Do’ leaflet full of plenty of ways to make a difference.


10 things you can do


We are pleased to announce our AFHR Residents! This is a group of long standing AFHR members who are committed to expanding and promoting our work and the network. Together, we will be creating workshops, developing new work and finding ways to reach new audiences. The Residents are:

Sebastian Aguirre, Waleed Akhtar, Helen Clapp, Nora Wardell, Nick Figgis, Noof McEwan, Leann O’Kasi, Rebecca Peyton, Leo Wan and Lucy Phelps

Hear Helen Clapp talk about the work of AFHR on the “Acting Inspired” podcast.



Our scripts

We also have a number of other individual testimonies and historical scripts covering the following areas…

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  • Afghanistan post-2001
  • Multiple testimonies about poverty/homelessness/unemployment/benefit system/public sector cuts in the UK
  • People engaged in sex work and survivors of sex trafficking.
  • Male victims of sexual violence (these were recently performed at the FCOs Global Summit on Sexual Violence in Conflict).
  • The end of the Sri Lankan civil war
  • Extraordinary rendition
  • Migrants who have travelled across the world to Calais, with a view to crossing the channel to the UK
  • Former Burmese prisoners of conscience now living in the UK
  • Victims of torture and arbitrary detention in Nepal
  • Nepalese and Colombian human rights defenders
  • Mexican activist for the disappeared
  • Ageing and human rights
  • Child refugees/child poverty/rights of the child

Interested in working with us?

We regularly receive new commissions to support campaigns or events.

We can create bespoke testimony-based script gather new material to update plays.
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