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Rights Stuff : Scotts Valley High student Sondra Wildman's award-winning artwork on the theme of human rights

Righting Wrongs

Winners of the Santa Cruz Amnesty International-United Nations Association high school essay contest weigh in on the importance of human rights.

'Universal Rights'
With human rights each person, man, woman or child, regardless of race or any other defining factor, has a chance to excel in the world. By neglecting to promote the rights of everyone, the hope for the future of those without equality, like a flower forced to grow in the shade, will wither and die. ...

Nazi Germany and the various genocides in Africa are only a few of the various examples that emphasize the importance of human rights. With the establishment of human rights, the world can ensure that such horrific events that occurred in the past do not stain the future, that the tragedies of the Holocaust become a tragic time in history rather than a reality of the future. ...

As humans we need to understand that humanity is a process that depends on the contributions of every single one of us. No one person can exceed while another suffers. No person should ever gain from the sufferings of another. And as we slowly progress toward the future, human rights and the continuance of such rights should be the main focus of every one of us. We hold the key to the future in our hands; with the continuance of human rights we will open the door to a better future.

Catherine Foster,
Scotts Valley High

'Human Rights'
Why is it important for the United States to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? The importance of following this declaration is so people have their rights as humans, and so they have the freedom they deserve.

... Proposition 8 had stated that people of the same sex do not have the right to marriage. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 16 it clearly states men and women both have the right to marriage. We have failed to continue to follow this right we should have as humans. This has denied many people the right to marriage, and the freedom they deserve. ...

Education is one of the key things we need in our lifetime. Without it we could not get as far as becoming the president, or going wherever we would choose to in life. If the government was unwilling to let everybody get the education they deserve it would go against the law in the Declaration stating every human is born free. This is why it is important for the United States to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Melissa Martinez,
Scotts Valley High School

'No Torture'
Verse 1:
Take a whiff
Smell the air
Suffering is strong
And you don't care?
Now listen up
And pay attention
Preaching human rights
Is our intention!

Total equality is not undue
If the declaration of rights
Was never misconstrued.
As a member of the Security Council
Torture should be a prime denouncal.

Verse 2:
You should have the mindset
Of Mr. John Brown
He was an abolitionist
Of great renown.
Whatever religion
Or country you serve
Unquestioned equality
Is what you deserve.


Verse 3:
How's Darfur?
Forget about you
I think I'm sure
I don't know too.
Regardless of your nationality
You should get respect
The United Nations
Should be more direct.

Michael Black, Dylan Carls,
Brendan Emmons,
Scotts Valley High School

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