There is always the tendency for people to think if someone is a human rights activist, he or she is probably chiefly concerned with human welfare and dignity. Activism is not a profession, it actually a calling. There are activists who run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
The most notorious dictators in world history were once advocates for human welfare. They fought for the rights of others – either for their freedom, self determination or independence. The psychology here is that they do this in order to prey on the vulnerable, once the vulnerable had been given their freedom. If one knows that one can’t defend, sustain and protect oneself, my best advice is to be part of a larger stronger group. To ask for one’s freedom when one cannot defend and sustain oneself may be like asking for one’s death sentence.
Aside that, a human rights activist must necessarily believe in the basic principles of humanitarianism. We can’t have failed careerist politicians or political activists (leftists or rightists), suddenly transforming into human rights activists. Again, even people with degrees in human rights law are not necessarily people who are concerned with human welfare. To fight for the rights of others is a noble calling, something deeply felt inside.