’Get Up, Stand Up!’ Ghent University celebrates 70 years of human rights
From 3 to 7 December 2018, Ghent University is opening its doors to everyone, free of charge and without any prior reservations. Several classes and activities will be dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has existed for exactly 70 years. Ghent University is also calling on everyone, inside and outside Ghent University, to participate in the closing marathon debate on Ghent University’s Human Rights Day, 10 December 2018.
The debate on human rights is more relevant than ever. After all, certain human rights may clash with each other or are open to interpretation.
With the campaign ’Get Up, Stand Up!’, Ghent University is encouraging its employees and students on all university campuses, as well as the general public, to reflect critically on human rights.
The university is doing this by organising lectures, classes and debates. In the coming week, posters and floor stickers will also be distributed across campuses, carrying various statements on themes such as security and privacy, migration and identity, freedom of expression, women’s rights and climate change.
Rik Van de Walle, rector of Ghent University: "The university is the perfect place to question much, if not everything. It is no coincidence that Ghent University’s motto is ’Dare to think’. But it doesn’t stop there. If you really want to change society, change the world, leave your mark on the future and truly transform things, then you have to have the courage to speak out. And you need to allow yourself to be contradicted. Because it is only by putting out thoughts into words, by speaking out and contradicting each other that we can avoid getting stuck in our way of thinking. After all, just because others would rather not hear it, doesn’t mean it should not be said. Right?"
70 years of human rights: is there anything to celebrate?
The university is seizing the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an opportunity to reflect on the importance of human rights. We all owe a great deal of freedom and rights to this declaration and should not take it for granted.
Eva Brems, professor Human Rights at the Ghent University Human Rights Centre: "The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also a holiday for Ghent University. Human rights are currently under threat across the globe, also in ’Western’ countries. We are rightly concerned about populism and the incitement of hatred in (world) politics. But whether human rights reach their 100th birthday depends first and foremost on ourselves. Human rights are for and by people. They must be supported across society, at all levels and in all organisations: they do not just involve parliament and government, but also cities, companies, associations, schools, and of course universities."
Join the discussion
From 3 to 7 December, everyone can choose from a wide range of classes and activities dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The full programme of the Human Rights Day, the (guest) lectures, debates and all international speakers can be found online here.
On 10 December, Ghent University’s Human Rights Day, a closing marathon debate will be organised in the Aula (Volderstraat 9, 9000 Ghent) from 12:30 to 21:30. Everyone is welcome and can attend or leave the series of debates at any time.
Follow all updates about the campaign on social media through the hashtag #GetUpStandUp18.
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