Young Observer

Expert focus on human rights

  • Big issues: human rights specialist Ruth Gallagher, fourth from left, with CedarBridge students

Dr Ruth Gallagher, from Ireland, visited CedarBridge Academy Citizenship Studies students to share more information about human rights laws.

Dr Gallagher briefly introduced herself as a “lobbyist” for better lunch options while attending high school as a student, which fittingly clarifies her career choice as an attorney and her vast work experience with the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission.

She has also worked with Amnesty International and has been sharing with children aged 4-16 on rights that we all have and need as humans.

In her presentation, she implored students to allow their voices to be heard on relevant issues. This could be easily achieved by reading and watching news from reliable sources of authority and getting involved in school campaigns.

The discussion and activities were very interesting. Dr Gallagher had us hooked to the activity nicknamed human rights boat. We had to imagine ourselves being on a boat that was about to be capsized off on an island.

The only chance of survival is to choose only six of the 30 human rights, taken from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights document.

The six rights that we chose had to help us on the imaginary island that we were left on. It was a rigorous activity because group members could be heard persuasively advocating for the rights that they believe must be kept on board and which rights should be tossed overboard. We all got to realise that all human rights are vital for our existence as a people and nation.

This presentation with Dr Gallagher taught us priceless lessons about the importance of human rights.