Source: (2012) Paper presented at the 1st International Symposium on Restorative Justice and Human Rights. 2-7 June 2012, Skopelos Island, Greece.

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), there is recognition that the inherent worth, dignity, equality, freedom and inalienable rights of every human being is the foundation for justice and peace. How do we actually realize human rights and co-create justice and peace for all? How can we honour the great diversity and differences among us, and connect with one another in a generative way, even when there is conflict or crime? In this paper, I explore human rights, restorative justice, and circles, as concepts and in practice. This exploration includes the interrelationship and synergistic potential between human rights, restorative justice and circles from different perception points. I explore human rights as values and restorative justice as a platform on which these values can actualize in the world. I specifically focus on the contribution of Circle as an effective restorative process and as a powerful application to transform and strengthen people, families, communities, organizations, and nations. Circles represent a fundamental shift in how we can connect with one another and they open up new possibilities for us to realize human rights. (author's abstract)