During the course of a full school day we delivered 6 Human Rights Workshops to 150 students in Amery Hill School in Basingstoke. The young people, all from year 10, were incredibly engaged and eager to know their rights. Though they had never engaged with or learned about the subject in the past, it is interesting to note how many of them had an idea of what their rights might be, with freedom of speech and privacy being top of the list in their minds. Not surprising considering the amount of publicity both have gotten in recent years.
It was interesting to note as well that the issues these students care about differ dramatically by group, from abortion to the death penalty. This made for some very interesting debates and speeches at the end of each workshop. The differing interests and topics made each workshop unique and different, underpinning the importance of HRA in all aspects of what we are interested in and care about.
A final observation; after delivering the workshop to over 600 students across the UK, we have seen a clear consensus amongst the next generation that they do not wish to see the HRA be removed or watered down any time soon, and that almost all young people we have spoken to do not wish to leave the EU. A fact we often forget or choose to ignore in the tribal debate of Brexit.
author: Matteo Bergamini, Knowing our Rights partner and founder Shout Out UK