A week devoted to each human’s rights and freedoms

I have been thinking a lot about women’s rights lately – about human rights in general, actually. As I have mentioned before, since January, people around the world have protested gas prices, unemployment, dictatorships, wage cuts, minority rights, higher education fees, corrupt politicians, unfair corporate practices, restrictions on freedom of speech and the unfulfilled promise of free and fair elections, to name a few.

Unfortunately, most of the time human rights aren’t understood – until they are violated.

Human rights barnstar

Today marks the beginning of Human Rights Week at Northeastern University, which consists of 16 campus events, performances and film screenings on campus. Human Rights Week is sponsored by the Northeastern University School of Law and 12 student groups, including Engineers Without Borders, GlobeMed, NUSTAND, the Progressive Student Alliance and Students for Justice in Palestine.

“It [will be] a week to collaborate between any student organization that has a social activist position,” said Julia Chambers, chair for Human Rights Week and a middler international business major.

The UN building in New York City

In September 2000, world leaders met at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City. They adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, which commits UN nations to work toward eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The goals consist of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental stability and developing a global partnership.

Tonight’s event, “Broken UN Resolutions,” in the Curry Student Center, will be the performance of a satirical play about the unfulfilled UN resolutions that have contributed to increased poverty around the world. Other events during the week include panels and discussions about microfinance, human-trafficking, sexual- and gender-based violence, human rights law and fair trade.

“It has been a great collaborative effort. Each group has brought the events forward,” Chambers said. “I’m just hoping a lot of people show up.”

It will be interesting to see how the future Egyptian government works toward reaching the MDGs.

First inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Second inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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