2017 DEADLINE PASSED

This year the KHREF sponsored two essay contests: one for high school students in the United States and one for high school students in other countries.  Essays were due on November 22.   

115 essays were received from 13 high schools in the United States.

ESSAYS SUBMITTED FROM STUDENTS IN THE U.S.

HIGH SCHOOL NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Boardman HS OHIO1
Bronx HS of Science NY2
Catonsville HS MD 1
Eastchester HS NY1
Greenwich HS CT9
Horace Greeley HS NY77
James Hubert Blake HS MD1
Mamaroneck HS NY3
Milburn HS NJ1
Poland Seminary HS OHIO2
Staples HS, Westport CT15
Stuyvesant HS NY1
Traip Academy, Maine1

Total High Schools 13
Total Students  115


34 essays were received from 11 high schools located in four countries outside the U.S.

ESSAYS SUBMITTED FROM STUDENTS ABROAD

COUNTRYHIGH SCHOOL NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Czech RepublicGymnázium Jana Palacha, Prague6
Czech RepublicEDUCAnet, Prague 4 3
Czech RepublicNad Alejí, Praha 6 1
GhanaWesley Girls’ HS, Cape Coast10
Iran Mahdavi, Tehran 1
South AfricaAfrika Tikkun, Johannesburg1
South AfricaAmerican International School, Johannesburg3
South AfricaCollegiate Girls’ HS, Port Elizabeth4
South AfricaMaritzburg College, Pietermaritzburg2
South AfricaSt Mary’s Diocesan HS for Girls, Pretoria1
South AfricaWynberg Boys’ HS, Cape Town2
 
We expect to announce the contests’ winners on December 10 (Human Rights Day).  First prize winners will receive $1000.  Second prize winners will receive $500. 
 
THE QUESTION STUDENTS IN THE U.S. WERE ASKED TO ADDRESS WAS:  Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School claims “the central problem with human rights law is that it is hopelessly ambiguous” and that this ambiguity allows “governments to rationalize almost anything they do.”
1  With that thought in mind, how would you respond to the argument that in calling for banning refugees from Muslim countries from traveling to the United States, deporting undocumented immigrants, and bringing back waterboarding President Trump is ensuring that every citizen’s “right to life, liberty and security of person”
2 is enforced?  In other words, do some rights (e.g. the right of citizens to be secure) take precedence over other rights (e.g. the right of suspects not to be tortured)?  And if so how should the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents be amended to specify what should be done when one right conflicts with another?
2 Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”  Article 5 reads:  “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
 
THE QUESTION STUDENTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES WERE ASKED TO ADDRESS WAS:  What is the most important human rights issue in the country where you live and/or the world and what should be done about it?
Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation
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