All Posts (145)

  • Third part of the series "Human Rights in Focus".
    It is about Collective Rights, the justiciability of Human Rights as well as about how the Human Rights System evolves and what opportunities for improvement do exist.

    The series consists of an overview clip and one clip about each of the three dimensions of Human Rights.
    The first dimension involves the political and civil rights, the second dimension the economic, social and cultural rights and the third dimension the collective rights.

    By Jan Künzl and Jörn Barkemeyer

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  • FIRE's Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus

    by David French

    College and university campuses remain one of the only forums in which the rights of students of faith are regularly curtailed. The ease with which students are denied the right to associate freely among themselves, even in matters of conscience and religion, is profoundly disturbing, as is most students' inability to expose such denials as fundamentally unjust. FIRE’s Guide to Religious Liberty on Campusprovides a history of the struggle for religious liberty and explains how the legal and moral arguments for religious liberty apply differentially on public and private campuses. This Guide also answers pertinent questions such as:

    1. What is the modern history and current status of the United States Supreme Court's view of the “free exercise of religion” and of “freedom of association”? How do these concepts apply to student liberty on my college or university campus?
    2. What arguments on behalf of religious liberty and the rights of conscience pertain to a private or sectarian institution?
    3. What legal and moral arguments may be made against the imposition of double standards by academic administrators in a variety of areas of campus life, including religious freedom?

    View the original article here

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  • Welcome to FIRE’s Spotlight: The Campus Freedom Resource, where you will find comprehensive information on the state of liberty on America’s campuses. Use FIRE’s Spotlight to find pages for individual academic institutions, which contain relevant links to our research of speech codes, case materials from FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, media coverage of FIRE’s work, and entries from FIRE’s blog.

    View the site here

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  • This is the second part of the series "Focus Human Rights". It deals with the second dimension of the Human Rights System: The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Additionally, it explains women's rights and shows how NGOs in the Human Rights sector work.

    The series consists of an overview clip and a specific clip about each of the three dimensions of Human Rights.

    Check out the other "Focus Human Rights" clips for further information about the topic.

    By Jan Künzl and Jörn Barkemeyer

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  • The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking is a strategic community awareness campaign that educates at-risk children and their parents about the dangers of child trafficking. A digital library of anti-trafficking resources for children. 

    Freedom Acts: Forced Labor Adam's story of how he was exploited for forced labor in Northern Ireland

    Freedom Acts: Grooming  Alisha's story of how she was groomed for sexual exploitation as a teenager in Northern Ireland

    Freedom Acts: Sexual Exploitation Anna's story of how she was tricked and forced into sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland

    Freedom Acts: Conclusion The end of Adam, Alisha, and Anna's stories along with more information

    Journey to Freedom True stories of two men—21st-century Cambodian Vannak Prum and 19th-century American Solomon Northup—who were sold into slavery more than 150 years apart, and the abolitionists who fight to free slaves.

    Warning to Young Women in China
    : Video in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles; a good warning to young women everywhere, not just in China. 

    Backstory: MTV's Interactive Anti-Slavery Campaign: 
     Interactive videos that show youth how poor choices can lead to being trafficked.  Note: Backstory doesn't play in all browsers; it worked better for us in Safari than in Firefox. 

    View the full website here

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  • First part of the series "Focus Human Rights". It deals with Civil and Political Rights, with Human Rights violations and the history of Human Rights.

    This film marks the start of the project "Focus Human Rights". The series will consist of an overview clip and of one clip about each of the three dimensions of Human Rights.

    The first dimension involves the Political and Civil Rights, the second dimension deals with the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the third dimension consists of the Collective Rights.

    In addition, a number of cross-cutting issues are explained. For example: the history of Human Rights, the role of non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, or the problems of the Human Rights system.

    Together, the overview clip and the three specific clips provide a profound knowledge about the topic Human Rights.

    By Jan Künzl und Jörn Barkemeyer

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  • Workshop for LA Teachers

    The AFSC Los Angeles Peace Education Program offers Human Rights resources, training and professional development for K-12 educators.  Each year, our office facilitates a Human Rights Education workshop for Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) teachers through the United Teachers of Los Angeles salary-point system.  

    The workshop is designed to build teachers' fundamental knowledge and understanding of human rights.  Teachers in the two-day workshop explore the global, national and local dimensions of human rights issues.  The workshop also uses case studies from Los Angeles to understand how human rights abuses affect local communities.  Some of the human rights issues addressed in the workshop include:

    • Environmental Sustainability
    • Economic Justice
    • Genocide
    • The Media
    • Child Soldiers and Youth in the Military
    • Human Trafficking

    In the workshop, teachers are provided with materials and assistance in developing their own lesson plans to strengthen content competence and to develop grade and subject-appropriate curriculum.  It is through the workshop that teachers become better equipped to encourage tolerance and peace building among their students and to help them appreciate the critical role human rights plays in the everyday lives of people here and elsewhere in the world.

    View the full article here

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  • Youth HR Summit in Washington DC

    Youth leaders participate in AFSC Human Rights Summit:  Youth leaders from St. Louis; New Orleans; Greensboro, N.C.: Washington, D.C.; and Logan, W.Va., were hosted by the D.C. Peace and Economic Justice Program for a weeklong Human Rights Summit in Washington in June 2013.

    As part of Human Rights Summit hosted by the American Friends Service Committee last week in Washington, D.C., Logan High Seniors Ciara Campbell and Jimetta Early met with Senator Manchin, Congressman Rahall, and staff with Senator Rockefeller to discuss real solutions to teen pregnancy.

    Campbell and Early are spokeswomen for  the Believing All is Possible or (BAPS) Youth Leadership Group.

    View the full article on

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  • "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." This is what it says in the very first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The idea of Human Rights is one of the most important fundaments of human co-existence. At the same time human rights are subject to fierce debates and Human Rights violations are common all over the world.
    But what exactly are Human Rights? Who is responsible for protecting them? And do they really apply to all people?

    This is the first part of the series "Focus Human Rights". It consists of this overview clip an three more specific clips for each of the three dimensions of Human Rights

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  • Student interns promoting HR for others

    Since she was a young girl in Brooklyn, Jodie Geddes has experienced how abuses of power play out in schools and on the streets.

    Her community members are stopped and frisked by police officers because of their race. She was excluded from certain relationships in school because the culture there didn’t make space for her multi-national identity. In North Carolina, where she’s now a student at Guilford College, she sees how immigrant communities are marginalized by state policies.

    Jodie is not one to disengage in the face of ugliness; instead, she goes where her heart moves her. “As human beings, we have a responsibility to protect our community members,” she says.

    This summer has been a time of learning and a reminder of why she does what she does.

    Read the full article on American Friends Service Committee

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  • Video on Education as a Human Right

    Education a Human Right:  This video was created by the American Friends Service Eommittee, PA program's Racial Justice Through Human Rights group together with the Youth Media Advocacy Project. The youth's deep concern for education and the deficiency of the schools led them to want to raise awareness in the community about the right to a good education.

    View the video on American Friends Service Committee

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  • The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has many resources for teachers striving to help students learn the history of the Holocaust and reflect upon the moral and ethical questions raised by that history.

    Learn more about US Holocaust Memorial Museum

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  •  "If I Had A Trillion Dollars" Youth Film Festival:  Youth from AFSC in Pittsburgh's Racial Justice Through Human Rights Program explain how they would use a trillion dollars to help their respective communities, quoting many articles of the UDHR.   

    View the video on American Friends Service Committee

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  • 'What are human rights and where do they come from?', asks Professor Conor Gearty in the latest Burning Issue lecture from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Gearty, a professor of human rights law and a practising barrister, looks at the history of human rights and ideas that have informed their development such as democracy and dignity. He challenges the notion that human rights are a western idea, a mere 'cultural accessory', or that they can be used to justify 'necessary evil' -- as an excuse to go to war or to torture as part of interrogation for example.

    The lecture explores the reality of what it is like to be deprived of one's human rights through interviews with a victim of torture and a psychologist.

    Professor Gearty argues: "We risk our culture if we collude in the idea that our way of life is so valuable that we can afford to depart from it in order to secure it."

    The lecture is the third and final of LSE's 'Burning Issues' lectures -- a short series of interactive talks, designed to showcase the social sciences to a non-academic audience.

    In the first lecture, 'Parasites -- enemy of the poor', Professor Tim Allen questions the effectiveness of our fight against one of humankind's most endemic invisible enemies. In the second lecture, the 'Right to Die', Professor Emily Jackson tackles the provocative issue of assisted dying.

    The Burning Issue Lectures are supported by the LSE Annual Fund and Cato Stonex (BSc International Relations 1986)

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  • DC kicks off year of human rights learning:  This year, the city council kicked off “DC Year of Human Rights Learning” on Dec. 10, calling on the American Friends Service Committee and the Washington, D.C. public schools to continue to promote the importance of educated residents about human rights.

    Since passing its Human Rights City resolution, Washington has been able to reach out to more than 150 students each year through AFSC, which focuses on peace and economic justice through its Washington program.

    Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana, the program’s director, explains that students involved with the program get “more than just a human rights class.”  

    “The project strives to achieve universal commitment to the dignity and worth of each human person by working with D.C. Public Schools students to increase their knowledge and understanding of human rights, as a way to create a culture of long lasting peace in D.C.,” he says.

    The project’s main goals are to increase human rights knowledge, to foster critical thinking, and to empower youth to become agents for peace and social change.

    The curriculum uses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a foundation. A survey of 89 students from seven public and private schools in 2008 found that only two had even heard of the universal declaration, but every respondent indicated interest in learning more about human rights.

    View the full article on American Friends Service Committee

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  • In the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, law students from all over Africa
    argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they are doing so in the African Court on
    Human and Peoples' Rights.

    In its first 20 years, 131 universities from 49 African countries have participated.

    Participants also attend a seminar or course on international human rights law and go on a one-day excursion to visit a place of national interest in the host country. The Competition lasts six days and is held in a different country each year.

    Judges in the preliminary rounds are lecturers from the participating universities. The best
    teams advance to the final round where they merge to form two new combined teams
    with English, French and Portuguese-speaking students on each side. The judges in the final round are international human rights lawyers of the highest standing and simultaneous
    translation is provided.

    The Moot is the largest annual gathering of students and lecturers of law on the continent,
    and one of the premier events on the African human rights calendar.

    There is arguably no educational event at the university level in Africa which has done
    more to make the African human rights system better known -- and which has a wider
    reach and a broader scope -- than the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

    See more here

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  • Coca-Cola addresses their Human & Workplace Rights policies:  "We expect our Company, our bottling partners and our suppliers to avoid causing, or contributing to, adverse human rights impacts as a result of business actions and to address such impacts when they occur."

     Furthermore, our Company, bottling partners and suppliers are also responsible for preventing or mitigating adverse human rights impacts directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships.

    Since 2005, we have worked to support the mandate of Professor John Ruggie, the former UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, in developing guiding principles for implementing his “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for respecting human rights in a business context. In May 2011, we formally endorsed the draft Guiding Principles, which the UN Human Rights Council adopted in June -- providing for the first time a global standard for addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. These Guiding Principles are now a key touchstone for our policies and programs related to workplace and human rights.

    According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, implementing respect for human rights in a corporate context has three primary components:

    1. A policy commitment to meet the responsibility to respect human rights;
    2. A due diligence process to identify, prevent, mitigate and be accountable for human rights abuses; and
    3. Processes to enable the remediation of any adverse human rights impacts the company causes or to which it contributes.

    View the full article

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  • Walmart Accepted Clothing from Banned Bangladesh Factories   The world’s largest retailer last month released a list of more than 200 factories it said it had barred from producing its merchandise because of serious or repeated safety problems, labor violations or unauthorized subcontracting.

    But at least two of the factories on the list have continued to send massive shipments of sports bras and girls' dresses to Walmart stores in recent months, according to interviews and U.S. customs records.

    In June 2011, Walmart said, it banned the Bangladeshi garment factory Mars Apparels from producing goods for the retail giant. But over the last year, Mars has repeatedly shipped tons of sports bras to Walmart, according to U.S. customs records and Mars owners. The most recent shipment was in late May, almost two years after Walmart claims it stopped doing business with the Bangladeshi firm.

    Read the full article on

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  • WASHINGTON -- Sex trafficking is a crime that happens under the radar, but it's happening in our own backyard, says Virginia Del. Tim Hugo, R-Fairfax.

    "You think that sex trafficking only happens overseas," Hugo says. "It's happening right here in Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria -- some of the most affluent jurisdictions in America."

    View the Full Article on

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