Human Rights Exist

As the Editor-in-Chief, I represent The Poly Post in all news-related articles that I have written, but not in this column. Here, I am writing to you as Salina Nasir, a fourth-year Journalism student with a mind full of thoughts and opinions – mostly centered around human rights and global politics.

This summer I was fortunate enough to venture off to San Francisco, a city cloaked in activism and drowning in harmonious messages of peace, equality and altruism – all things I love beyond comprehension.

I landed my dream internship at Amnesty International, one of the world’s largest non-profit human rights organizations, and I worked in an environment that is dedicated to bringing to fruition the idea of a better future for all humankind. It was there where I was able to expand my knowledge in the field of human rights education, and it was there where I ultimately solidified my passion for human rights advocacy.

This summer, especially, the topic of human rights was thrust upon us as we heard the people’s cries from Palestine to Ferguson, and beyond.

In these coming weeks, I hope to shed a light on the injustices that are currently plaguing our world. I hope to highlight atrocities that people just like you and me are facing on a daily basis as the rest of the world turns a blind eye. I want to share these issues with the campus community in hopes of proving that they do concern the whole of society, and to remind everyone that we all have the power to influence policies.

After all, it takes not only governmental action but also action by the members of the civil society to combat the ultimate abuse of rights.

The early stages of my activism were inspired predominately by my ever-present awareness that luck defined my life’s circumstances: I could have just as easily been born into poverty in a third-world country whose government is disgracefully lax in its enforcement of human and civil rights.

But, as luck would have it, my basic rights have been secured.

I have never met injustice or encountered oppression before, nor am I someone who has suffered as a result of extreme governmental dysfunction. But I am a concerned citizen of the world – one who is often struck by the aching realization that governments so often surrender the political will to protect human rights to instead further their national agendas.

To rationalize my own life experience, I continue to fulfill my moral responsibility of working to build awareness for human rights violations by using my words. I have come to realize that with the right intention and enough willpower, even a small voice can be heard.

My voice may be small amongst our student body, but I am determined to use it to inspire all of you to join me in my novice attempt to facilitate empowerment for the voiceless.

The Poly Post. Vol. 30, Issue No. 1

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