Students Stand up for Human Rights in Copenhagen
Recently, two students from Collège Jeanne-Sauvé (CJS) travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to participate in a UNESCO conference on human rights.
At the end of September, Stella Opaleke and Daniella Ajuwon, Grade 10 students at CJS, and Sandra Jansen, Student Services Teacher at CJS, attended the Camp Nordic Conference – Standing up for Human Rights. The students were two of twenty invited from UNESCO Associated Schools Network.
The week-long conference took place next door to the hostel at the Globalhagen House, a space for NGOs, humanitarian initiatives, political parties, and businesses to have meetings.
The CJS students had the opportunity to meet, network, and collaborate with students from six Nordic countries: Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Together, they gained awareness of human rights issues and skills to think globally and act locally.
“We gained a new perspective regarding schools in the northern European countries about how their school systems work, our similarities, and our differences,” said Daniella.
Students discussed human rights violations from concrete cases and reflected on the state of human rights in their own country and other countries.
Participants worked together and shared proposals on how countries can meet their common and unique challenges and contributed to developing intercultural competencies, awareness and knowledge about human rights.
“We believe different countries can come together with a common goal to produce a change for a better world,” said Daniella.
When they weren’t at the conference, they were immersed in Copenhagen, looking for examples of human rights being demonstrated in everyday life. Some examples included learning about the sunflower lanyard which indicates hidden disabilities; Hus Forbi, a newspaper written by victims affected by homelessness; and a presentation from Rapolitics on how music can influence change and promote human rights.
At the end of the week, students had several group discussions based on what they had learned and experienced throughout the conference.
"We encourage other schools within the Louis Riel School Division to become involved and consider applying to the UNESCO Associated Schools Network,” said Stella.