14 December, 2017

Action Day for Human Rights Celebrations in Malta

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Campaign Activist
11 pm

logoAction Day for Human Rights Celebrations in Malta

To mark the last Action Day #LoveHumanRights of the No Hate Speech Movement, Agenzija Zghazagh, Maltese NCC, organised Human Rights Week between 4-11 December 2017.  Different events and activities were held over a period of one week in the different Youth Hubs and Youth Cafes operated by Agenzija Zghazagh.  These spaces are frequented by young people either during recess at school or in the evenings.  Although some of the  young people were already familiar with the No Hate Speech campaign, the particular emphasis on this day were Human Rights and the youth workers  based in these centres initiated discussions and proposed activities related to Human Rights dealing with specific themes deemed most appropriate for the young people who attend these centres in their free time. 9 centres were involved and over 200 young people took part in the activities organised.

Higher Secondary – Naxxar

The students watched a documentary – ‘The Broken Lens’ produced by the Malta Gay Rights Movement and the Gay-Straight Alliance MCAST.  This documentary explores and discusses the factors and importance of LGBTIQ representation in the media through interviews with LGBTIQ youth and content creators.  The film screening was followed by a discussion on gay rights.

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Gem16+ – Gzira

3On Wednesday 6th December GEM16+ Gzira explored the concept – What are Human Rights?  All the Human rights were written down and displayed on a Christmas tree to inform and raise awareness about all the Human Rights. Later to instigate a discussion about Human Rights amongst the students present an activity of memory flash cards depicting human rights was used with different groups.

Later the No Hate Speech Campaign was explained to the young people to raise awareness about hate speech online and offline while encouraging young people to be more tolerant towards others in both spheres. In the end a No Hate badge was given to students to commemorate this day.

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MCAST – Paola

Two activities took place during the week to raise awareness about Human Rights.  The topic was introduced through an ice breaker where the participants were given a handout and they were asked to write two rights and two responsibilities in the home, at school and in the world. After the sharing of information, it resulted that what a person regards as a right for others  could also be interpreted as a rule.

The participants were then given flashcards. These flashcards represented situations from daily life and they had to distinguish whether each represented a need or a want. Through this exercise the young people realized that in daily life some of the wants are taken for granted as needs. One has to consider that this could be the result of society’s pressure on human beings to achieve economic and social status in all sphere of society.

Next, participants, working in small groups were asked to draw a tree on large chart paper. On sticky notes they had to write those human rights that they think all people need to live in dignity and justice. These labels were stuck on the tree so that it could grow and flourish.

When the drawings were complete, each group had to present its tree and explain its reasons for the items they have included and finally items were matched with articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the number of the corresponding article next to each item.

This activity ended with a sharing of Bob Marley’s Redemption song and its lyrics.

 

During the second session the focus was on role models who fought for human rights; three video-clips were screened namely I have a dream by Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King jr, Paris attacks by Sir Bob Geldof and the best inspirational speech by Malala Yousafzai.

Next a discussion followed opening with the statement ……

………. what we have today is the result of past struggles

All three video-clips triggered the young people’s thoughts on how they can contribute to people in need and how if people do not react, then they are considered as complicit.

The group closed the session with the undermentioned quote by Martin Niemoller and listened to the song by Manic Street Preachers …           ’If you tolerate this your children will be next’

First they came …”

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

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AZ@Kottonera

At the senior school youth hub, the promotion of Human Rights Day and the No Hate Speech Campaign were linked with the UN 16 Days of Activism Campaign and therefore focused mainly on Violence Against Women.  Students were invited to participate in their free time when the youth workers held an information session about Human Rights to create awareness about them among the students present. Students were then asked to write powerful messages to promote the topics. These were written on laminated sheets and photographed for a next session.

During another session held with form 3 students, youth workers explained about the campaign that was done in school and some video clips were also shown so that students could understand  better the purpose of the campaign. The activity closed by asking all students to write on sticky notes what can be done to stop violence.

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Youth Café Birgu

At the Youth Cafe Birgu, a cookie baking session took place prior to launching into the theme. A Youth Worker delivered a workshop in which he promoted what are the rights that we all have. A discussion followed since a number of young people showed interest in discussing personal situations when they felt that their rights had been taken.

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Gozo Middle and High Schools

In both schools, the student councils organised an activity related to Human Rights where students were invited to write down no hate messages and attach them to boards to commemorate this day.  At the middle school, teachers, students, learning zone staff and the youth worker also prepared heart shaped marshmallow rice crispies with no hate messages and distributed them among the other students.  At the Gozo Sixth Form, the school heads and college principal were invited for the closure of the activities and to explain to them more about the campaign and the need to streamline its aims with the extra-curricular activities of the college.

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Youth Cafe’ Qawra

On Tuesday 5th December, the young people attending the Youth Cafe, Qawra reflected on the last 5 articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Following a brief introduction and discussion about the Human rights in general and specifically the said articles, the young people in two groups designed a poster illustrating these articles. The poster was then explained by the two groups and the participants expressed the desired impact they wish to create on other young people through the poster.

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Youth Café’ Msida

The young people attending the Youth Café at Msida were introduced to the ‘No Hate Speech’ movement. A good debate ignited as the basic principles of equality, human dignity and human rights unfolded and some of those present contested and even negated the issues. To conclude the young people took pictures portraying hand hearts. The ‘No hate’ badge was distributed to all the young people who attended.

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