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 OHIO||1|
|Bronx HS of Science NY||2|
|Catonsville HS MD||1|
|Eastchester HS NY||1|
|Greenwich HS CT||10|
|Horace Greeley HS NY||76|
|James Hubert Blake HS MD||1|
|Mamaroneck HS NY||3|
|Milburn HS NJ||1|
|Poland Seminary HS OHIO||2|
|Staples HS, Westport CT||15|
|Stuyvesant HS NY||1|
|Traip Academy, Maine||1|
34 Essays were received from 11 high schools located in four countries outside the U.S.
ESSAYS SUBMITTED FROM STUDENTS ABROAD
|COUNTRY||HIGH SCHOOL||NUMBER OF STUDENTS|
|Czech Republic||Gymnázium Jana Palacha, Prague||6|
|Czech Republic||EDUCAnet, Prague 4||3|
|Czech Republic||Nad Alejí, Praha 6||1|
|Ghana||Wesley Girls’ HS, Cape Coast||10|
|South Africa||Afrika Tikkun, Johannesburg||1|
|South Africa||American International School, Johannesburg||3|
|South Africa||Collegiate Girls’ HS, Port Elizabeth||4|
|South Africa||Maritzburg College, Pietermaritzburg||2|
|South Africa||St Mary’s Diocesan HS for Girls, Pretoria||1|
|South Africa||Wynberg Boys’ HS, Cape Town||2|
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”is enforced?² 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?
1 The Case Against Human Rights, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2014/dec/04/-sp-case-against-human-rights
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?
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