New York, April 27: Holding up a mirror to show the wrong doers what they are doing is what the United Nations of Human Rights believes in. Equality and the need to stand by what is right is what the UN preaches from ages.
Moderating a discussion with the students of Columbia Law School, Zeid Hussein said that his office does not name or shame the government when they do something wrong. They are a mediator because they are a mirror to the society’s basic needs. Zeid shared with students the difficulties he faces as the top UN official tasked with advancing human rights in the current environment, where human rights are violated frequently.
Despite the many challenges, Zeid encouraged students to “never underestimate the power of individual agency” in the fight for human rights and shared his vision for a global human rights movement: “The way to secure your own rights, your own future, is to fight for the rights of others.”
He also emphasized the significance of the study of human rights in law schools, and encouraged other schools in the fields of medicine, public health, business, and computer science to similarly start human rights centers.
During the conversation, Zeid and Visiting Professor Amal Clooney also discussed the serious problem of the lack of fair trials around the world. Clooney further emphasized on the topic that the governments are increasingly using courts as a tool for repression and are abkle to do it quite successfully. And therefore aiming of collaborating on a project now where the UN High Commissioner’s office and my foundation are developing training in international human rights standards so we can have some monitors: people in courtrooms watching trials and reporting on the fairness of trials all over the world.
The Human Rights Institute advances international human rights through education, advocacy, fact-finding, research, scholarship, and critical reflection. It works in partnership with advocates, communities, and organizations pushing for social change to develop and strengthen the human rights legal framework and mechanisms, promote justice and accountability for human rights violations, and build and amplify collective power.