On a cold morning on Friday, the 9th of December students from the Human Rights society gathered in Square three, at 8 o’clock for a tradition dating back to 2008.
The whole idea of the meeting is an opportunity for students to express their thoughts on the importance of human rights, through the chalking of the steps with the declaration of Human Rights. Many students arrived and gathered in numbers and not long after half past eight the majority of steps, represented the declaration of human rights presented in various languages in bright colours.
With Human Rights day taking place the next day it was a great opportunity for students to come together, at a time when the freedom of people’s rights seem more jaded than ever.
Speaking to many students, you could not get away from the fact that this was a welcoming event, with smiles and laughs coming from everyone. I was lucky enough to speak to a couple of students in order to get a greater understanding of the event.
When asking students about the importance of this day and what was taking place, Sian pointed out how this year’s event was ‘important ‘.
‘ All the Languages are integrated, which I kind of Love. It is a really nice tradition for all the students to get together.”
What was more fascinating was learning about the importance of today and why students choose the steps and more importantly what they meant.
‘ You have your Human Rights literally written out, and over time they will erode if you don’t take care of them.’
“If it is not chalked constantly, it is going to erode and eventually over the days and weeks it does disappear. So it is kind of a symbol and a reflection of what it is like in the real world.”
What Impact is the event going to have?
I wanted to know more about the wider impact, and the aim of the chalking.
Casiana highlighted the importance of “raising awareness on the article and what it actually means”.
“We are so glad that so many people came today. The human rights centre organised everything, with Rebel as well so that is really good and is going to raise more awareness.
“I think many people will hear about this.”
Why the importance of the Human Rights that have been written on the steps, are these rights that are currently being abused?
‘Most of them, if not all of them, have been abused, but they’re just articles from the declaration’. ‘ We tried to incorporate everything in each language’.
Where can you go for further information?
The Human rights centre is one of the largest single academic human rights communities situated within the Essex law school.
If you’re interested in learning more about what they do the centre has a regular podcast called ‘RightsCast’ https://anchor.fm/rightscast ( follow the link for more).
For further access to news, articles, and topics of discussion you can find more through the centre’s blog called ‘Cage’ https://hrcessex.wordpress.com.