The 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration- A happy birthday?

Birthday CakeToday is the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s most translated document. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was published in 1948 in response to the events of World War II, sets out a broad range of fundamental rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled without distinction.

The European Court Blogspot writes:

After World War II and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow such devastating conflict. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a document which would guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere, always.

How close are we to achieving this aim? What barriers stand in the way? To read more about these questions, and to submit your own answers, subscribe to our mailing list, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


When is a human right not a human right?..

Human RightsAnswer: When it is a “precious liberty”.  Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) an independent charity working to challenge immigration detention in the UK have highlighted that the new national curriculum for Citizenship taught in secondary schools has removed references to “human rights” when discussing the rights and freedoms enjoyed by UK citizens. Whilst human rights are still discussed in reference to international law, Temi Ogunye, writing for Citizenship Foundation Voices argues that:

Exactly what these ‘precious liberties’ are is left entirely unclear, and the introduction of the term appears to have no basis in popular use in law, politics or education.

The process of defining the idea of ‘precious liberties’ for our young people must, as with any contested idea, take the form of an ongoing conversation… What does the vague and unfamiliar phrase ‘precious liberties’ designate that the well-known (though still, of course, contested) idea of human rights does not?…It is instructive that human rights and international law are packaged together because it points to one potential point of difference with ‘precious liberties’: human rights are global, general and, potentially, foreign, while precious liberties are local, home-grown and (only?) “enjoyed by the citizens of the United Kingdom

Does terminology matter? Should we care whether young people are taught about “human rights”?  For debates on these issues and more, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our mailing list here.

Andrew Williams inspires next generation of political writers

A Very British Killing- Cover Image Andrew Williams, Orwell Prize Winner and Editor-In-Chief of Lacuna magazine has spent today sharing his experiences with the next generation of political writers at Peter Symonds College, Winchester. Andrew spoke about his motivation for writing: “A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa” and gave students insight into how he went about the project. He also shared some tips for writing well. Andrew says: “I really enjoyed my day at Peter Symonds College, the students were bright and really engaged with both the book and my experiences of writing it. They are exactly the sort of people we hope will read Lacuna and feel inspired to contribute their own views and experiences”.

For hints and tips from Andrew on how to write well, please sign up to our mailing list here