Celebrating Fundamental Freedoms: Human Rights Day 2010

Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in developing the UN Declaration of Human Rights. UN Photo

World Learning joins the global community in marking Human Rights Day on December 10, the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The basic values enshrined in this groundbreaking document—including human dignity, liberty, equality and brotherhood—serve as important touchstones for all of World Learning’s programs.

A number of World Learning’s programs address human rights issues:

  • World Learning’s Visitor Exchange Program is currently hosting three representatives from Thailand who are in the United States to learn about local, national, and international strategies to prevent trafficking in persons.  The three-week exchange is funded by the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. 
  • SIT Study Abroad offers programs for undergraduates on human rights and social movements worldwide, including Brazil, Morocco, the Netherlands and Chile.
  • SIT Graduate Institute’s CONTACT Program, which trains professionals from more than 60 countries in conflict transformation, is now accepting applications for its Summer Peacebuilding and Graduate Certificate Program.

    CONTACT participants learn nonviolent methods of resolving conflict. Courtesy Jeff Woodward

  • World Learning initiated the Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship Program, which awards annual fellowships to SIT Study Abroad alumni who would like to return to the country of their program to pursue development projects that benefit human rights. The fellowship is a living tribute to SIT Study Abroad Nicaragua alum Alice Rowan Swanson, who was killed while commuting to work in 2008.
  • World Learning also administers the Democracy Fellows Program, which seeks experienced democracy and governance professionals to serve within field missions or the Washington, DC headquarters of the United States Agency for International Development. The program is led by Dorin Tudoran, a prominent former democracy dissident who recently released a book detailing pages from his Romanian secret police file.

To learn more and get involved in human rights issues, please visit one of the following organization’s websites.

Freedom in the World 2010: Freedom House warns of a global “freedom recession” it its annual survey of political rights and civil liberties worldwide. More than half the world’s population lives in not free or partly free countries.

Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon: Amnesty International invites people to mark Human Rights Day by writing letters to advocate on behalf of specific human rights defenders and victims of abuse. 

Discover and support a cause: Human Rights Watch lists opportunities to act including petitions that urge UN members to ratify the Child Soldiers Treaty and demand that Burma release political prisoners.

This entry was posted in Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship, CONTACT, Global Citizenship, International Development, SIT Graduate Institute, SIT Study Abroad and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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