NEWS: Human rights in your own neighborhood

Shereen Rafea | Website Editor

With all the revolutions and protests that are taking place this year, human rights issues are constantly being brought up. News about the Arab spring, or the rights violations in the Congo and other countries are often in the media spotlight.  However other aspects of human rights are sometimes overlooked.

“We often talk about human rights in an international perspective,” says Julie Norman, a Political Science professor at Concordia University, “but there are stories at home,” she added.

Norman spoke at the Speak4rights event that was held by Journalists for Human Rights Concordia on Sept.21 .“Seeing someone in the streets,” she says, and “you’ll never know what they’ve been through.”

People in your own community may have been through genocide, assaults, wars, or other human rights violations.

Norman suggests we add some specificity to human rights and think about issues such as education, the right to own property and the right to paid vacation

Photo by : Abdullah Alhomoud

“We focus on big rights,”  she says, “but in addition there are a lot of other rights that we are not aware of.”

The breath of rights Norman brings up centers around stories. There are many to be told in the field of human rights, no matter where you are.

Media in its many forms is a method we can use to share those stories and raise human rights awareness. This is one of the concepts of Rights Media.

“It’s about creating media in marginalized communities,” she says, “and empowering them.”


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