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Human Rights

Back to listDec 12, 2012

Human Rights Education Film Screened at UN Office in New York

panel discussionThe panel discussion with UN and NGO representatives

On December 12, as part of Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) celebrations, "A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education," was screened at the UN Headquarters in New York. The 28-minute film is a collaborative production by Soka Gakkai International (SGI), Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), who, together with Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations, co-organized the screening.

"A Path to Dignity" presents three case studies that illustrate the transformative power of human rights education among school children in India, law enforcement agencies in Australia and women victims of violence in Turkey. The film includes references to frameworks put in place by the UN to advance the implementation of human rights education such as the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005-ongoing).

Following the screening of the film, a panel discussion with UN and NGO representatives was moderated by Executive Director of HREA Frank Elbers.

DH.E. Saul WeislederH.E. Saul Weisleder (center) and Ms. Maarit Kohonen Sheriff (left)

In his speech, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN H.E. Saul Weisleder praised the film for giving a vivid depiction of the concept of dignity as being inherent and belonging to everyone. He stated that the starting point of realizing human rights for all is to give back what society has taken, the dignity of the human being.

Deputy Head of OHCHR Maarit Kohonen Sheriff also spoke and stated that human rights education is not only about setting international standards and frameworks but is also about taking responsibility for respecting the rights of others and knowing and claiming our own rights. Everyone, she said, individuals, communities and institutions have a role to play in human rights education.

Other speakers included Ellen Bruno, director of "A Path to Dignity," and Hiro Sakurai, SGI representative to the UN in New York.

"A Path to Dignity" is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. For further information, see: http://www.path-to-dignity.org

[Adapted from a report by the SGI UN Liaison Office in New York; photos courtesy of the SGI UN Liaison Office in New York]