Today, 10th of December, we celebrate the International Day of Human Rights, which stems from the idea of human dignity and that every person on this planet is entitled to a certain minimum level of rights simply because they are human. Legally, states as duty-bearers have the obligation to ensure the equal fulfilment of human rights without any discrimination.
Hoy, 10 de diciembre, celebramos el día internacional de los derechos humanos, que surge de la idea de la dignidad humana y de que toda persona en este planeta tiene derecho a un nivel mínimo de derechos por el simple hecho de ser humano. Legalmente, los estados como garantes de deberes tienen la obligación de garantizar el cumplimiento igualitario de los derechos humanos sin discriminación alguna.
All over the world students continue to prove to play a vital role fighting for democracy, human rights, academic freedom and social justice. Students continue to take great personal risks with their relentless activism, when taking the streets and fighting for freedoms benefiting societies as a whole, pushing for new ideas and solutions to issues far beyond the classroom. From the #MustFallMovements of South Africa, calling for a decolonised curriculum and equal access to higher education, which echoed across the continent and reignited discussions about decolonisation, knowledge hierarchies and global inequality in academia all over the globe to the increasing level of mobilisation of students fighting for environmental justice and greener ways of thinking, doing and learning. To the online pro-democracy Milk Tea Alliance of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar continuously finding new innovative ways of organising and protesting. In Brazil the student movement is forefront fighting the regressive policies challenging freedom of speech and academic freedom and in Belarus the government has started what has been called a ‘government sponsored brain drain’ targeting students and academics to a point where the student union of Belarus (BSA) has collected evidence of at least 492 detained and 160 expelled students up to June 2021.
The Global Student Forum calls upon educational institutions, civil society and state actors, who all have a responsibility when violations occur, to:
– Promote Student at Risk programmes to counteract black-listing and targeted student activists and leaders
– Promote monitoring mechanisms and methodologies to strengthen evidence based data of human rights violations against students
– Create a safety net to protect students at risk through rapid response mechanisms, allyship and support
– Promote the right of students to express, assemble and organize, and grant their effective implementation
– Ensure student representation in decision making processes relating to education and issues affecting students’ lives at all levels from local to global
– Endorse student activism as part of the ecosystem of all levels of education and academic freedom
– Provide students with digital training to protect themselves online as states are increasingly using the internet for surveillance
– Support an educational environment for cultural and social inclusion to uphold indigenous and minority cultures
– Promote the radical reform of segregated educational systems, to eliminate any discrimination
– Protect and advocate students’ rights as human rights