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PM announces human rights essay competition


30 June 2008

PM announces human rights essay competition


An essay competition for year 12 and 13 students is being held to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.

“To celebrate this milestone, and to contribute to debate and awareness of the Declaration and its core values in New Zealand, year 12 and 13 students are invited to write 1000 words about the relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today,” Helen Clark said.

“The Declaration sets out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled.

“In the last sixty years, many international treaties covering a range of fundamental rights, including the civil, political, economic, social and cultural, have been developed.”

“The newest human rights treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, came into force just last month and New Zealand played a significant role in the negotiation process,” Helen Clark said.

“Sadly, many people around the world do not have their human rights upheld. Students entering the essay competition are encouraged to say whether the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can continue to play a meaningful role in securing the human rights of people worldwide,” Helen Clark said.

The winner will be invited to read extracts from his or her essay at an event in Wellington celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the Declaration.

For further information about entering the competition, including details about the prize, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website www.mfat.govt.nz.


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