Human Rights

Back to listNov 23, 2005

Exhibition in Support of the UN's World Program for Human Rights Education Opens in Osaka

"Human Rights in the 21st Century--Treasuring Each Individual" (working title) created by the Soka Gakkai youth division, was launched on November 22 at the Osaka Business Park Hall (MID Theatre) in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. The United Nations Information Center, UNICEF Office in Japan and National Federation of UNESCO Association in Japan are supporting the event. Some 150 attended the opening.

In 1993, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the SGI launched an exhibition entitled "Toward a Century of Humanity--Human Rights in Today's World" in Tokyo. By 2002, it had been viewed by more than 500,000 people, including many schoolchildren, in 40 cities in eight countries, as a practical tool supporting the objectives of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004). Following this exhibition, the new exhibition was launched to support the United Nation's World Program for Human Rights Education, of which the first three years (2005-2007) focus on the primary and secondary school systems. The basic concept of this exhibition is to encourage and inspire viewers with hope for human rights, as well as help them to determine from within to respect the human rights of others and themselves, in recognition of the immeasurable preciousness and dignity of the life of every single human being.

A poem in her own penciled printing by Helen Keller (1880-1968), who herself challenged and overcame the stigma associated with being sight-, hearing- and speech-impaired

At the Osaka exhibition, some 330 items are displayed, including a copy of the original manuscript of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"; and original autographed documents and letters written by human rights pioneers such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi and Helen Keller. Specific human rights issues of the 21st century will be addressed under themes such as "Women," "Children, Too," "Minorities," "Conflicts and Terrorism" and "Poverty." There are specially created exhibits, such as the words to the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" depicted on a 50-inch screen provided in 331 languages at the touch of an interactive map. Another section displays dolls, paintings, sculptures, and poetry created by displaced persons, disabled persons and children of countries embroiled in armed conflicts. Also depicted are voices of NGO representatives and people receiving their support, who have faced and overcome numerous hardships and despair with hope and determination.

[The exhibition at Osaka Business Park runs through December 1. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (until 4 p.m. on Dec. 1, the final day). Admission is free.].

In Toward Perpetual Peace, (1795) Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) describes the state of "perpetual peace among nations," one of the three important concepts underlying his "ethical commonwealth."
Janusz Korczak (1879-1942) strongly identified with the protagonist of Matthew the Young King, a timeless parable about a child-king who dreams of a utopian kingdom with just laws for both children and adults.