All Things Human Rights

All Things Human Rights

Good afternoon my belles and my beaus, Arielle reporting here from the plenary room in Baltimore.

Today’s SCORP sessions started off with a session by the ever incredible and unique Fred, current Liaison Officer (LO) for UNESCO and candidate for Vice President of External Affairs (VPE) for IFMSA.

Freddy taught us all about the right to privacy and of the right to freedom of expression in his stimulating session. We defined some terms and discussed key examples of violations of those basic human rights. For example, how Facebook, Google and other social networking platforms sell our history and information to third party companies. I learned how Google meets the demands of certain governments (ie: China) and works to censor information in exchange for market. We also discussed how governments such as North Korea completely withhold access to all information; to achieve ultimate control of their population, yes, but also, in to achieve  in withholding the truth.

Moreover, Freddy warned us one of the most dangerous challenges we face today in regards to these rights – unsafe storage of social, financial, and biometric data. Freddy called for us to make it clear to our governments that proper storage of our information should be a top priority, and urged us all to get informed about the privacy laws and internet legislation in our countries, something I will definitely check on upon my return.

After Freddy, it was my turn to facilitate. My task was to give a comprehensive introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I thought that reading and discussing them all alone would be dreadfully boring (and frightening), so I decided to have all the SCORP participants teach it along with me. After each article, I asked the participants to comment on how this right applied (or not) to their country. The discussion was palpitating. Testimonials to people from Malaysia talking about the discrimination ethnic minorities face, to the humanitarian disaster taking place in Syria, to women and men inequality, to access to healthcare for undocumented migrants, the list goes on and on. What I loved most about this activity was that it allowed for us all to understand that Human Rights are absolutely everywhere, and that the first step to advocating for equity and working for solutions to human rights violations is through identifying the rights involved.

We then had time for our Small Working Groups, I was extremely happy to see about 20 people sign up for the Mental Health Small Working Group. We came up with a comprehensive Campaign Plan for World Mental Health day in October. Stayed tuned or read the next post for details of the outcomes. The energy, enthusiasm, and ideas of the participants were truly outstanding.

After a brief NMO hour in the fresh and crisp Baltimore out-doors, I head to give my very first training. Of 30 people. Oh boy.

But despite the nerves and apprehension, the training turned out to be a huge success, the feedback we got from the trainings was generally positive as was their energy throughout the Fundraising and Financial Management training.

With that, I will leave you, faithful readers. Thank you for reading my blog!





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