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At the beginning of the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, many parts of the world are slowly emerging from life under various restrictions to regain ‘freedom', to recover our rights which have been suspended to tackle the public health emergency. While we were under lockdown, society, thankfully, kept working, which also means that challenges to human rights never ceased to surface. There were Black Lives Matter protests; women and girls across the world protested against femicide; civil society mobilised to support what appears to be an endless stream of refugees; there were anti-lockdown demonstrations. In many places in the world, we witnessed ordinary people mobilised to support the most vulnerable in the form of food banks, meal delivery, assistance in daily chores and by offering companionship. Despite all the demonstration of humanity, we know that inequality in various aspects of life has been exacerbated. As we are emerging into a world of freedom, this is an opportune time to reflect on what has been done to address inequality, what tools we have and what we can do.
This year's Human Rights Festival, In Equality, Not Inequality: Empowering Voices for Human Rights offers opportunities to learn, review and discuss ways to promote human rights in our attempts to tackle inequality from labour rights to support for unaccompanied refugee children, women's fight for justice and health equalities. The week concludes with an interactive event where the audience in invited to express views in relation to protest and mobilisation.
Labour Rights: Why are they important and are they under threat?
With globalisation, labour conditions have significantly worsened in many industries and anti-union laws have weakened social protections for many workers world-wide. This session will explore labour rights as human rights and the danger of anti-union laws on workers though a workshop about the "Great Resignation". The workshop will look at examples of workers in the US, Canada and the UK, who are taking advantage of this huge shift in the industry, sparked by labour shortages, to finally end famously exploitative working conditions in the sector.
4-5pm, Monday 14th March
Room 1007, John Galsworthy Building
Strike a Rock: the Women of Marikana
‘Strike a rock, you hit a woman. Strike a woman, you hit a rock.'
2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 36 mineworkers on strike for a living wage were gunned down by South African security forces on live television. Strike a Rock (directed by Aliki Saragas) tells the story of the women of Marikana in a fight for justice that pits them against the South African government and Lonmin, a colonial-era mining giant based in London. The film screening will be accompanied by snacks and followed by a Q&A session.
4-6pm, Tuesday 15th March
Room 3015, John Galsworthy Building
Health Inequalities and Their Impact on Communities
Health inequalities are about differences in the status of people's health (e.g. life expectancy and prevalence of health conditions), access to healthcare (e.g. availability of treatment); behavioural risks to health (e.g. smoking rates, eating habits) and wider determinants of health (e.g. quality of housing).The nature and the magnitude of Health Inequalities was made evident by the COVID-19 pandemic as it affected and impacted adversely on some communities with certain protected characteristics disproportionately.
This workshop will debate how the existence of Health Inequalities has affected communities and how we can tackle these structural and policy deficiencies.
4-5pm, Wednesday 16th March
Online via Microsoft Teams - click here to join
Surviving on Your Own; the Campaign to Support Unaccompanied Migrant Youth
After long harrowing journeys to the UK, many children seeking safety arrive here alone. The only thing waiting for them is a difficult and draining immigration process. With nobody looking out for them, it's tough. A group of young people known as the YLCSC are fighting to change this. So that all children who arrive in the UK alone get a legal guardian - someone to take them to immigration interviews, make sure they're heard, help them adapt to life in a new country. Guardians give children seeking asylum hope for a brighter future.
4-5pm, Thursday 17th March
Online via Microsoft Teams - click here to join
All are invited to come to Polling Protest! An innovative and interactive face-to-face event occurring as part of the Kingston University Human Rights Festival. At this event you will be polled on key controversies and topics in the field of human rights. Passionate about polling? Want your say on the big human rights issues of the day? Think the Human Rights Act is a #massiveblessing or #doomed? Then this is the event for you!
4-5pm, Friday 18th March
Room 1004, John Galsworthy Building
For further information about this event:
Contact: Dr Radu Cinpoes
Dr Radu Cinpoes