In November, the MHREC volunteer team met for an interactive session to discuss and learn more about the machinery of discrimination. MHREC’s educators made use of the Stories the Move online learning tool, more specifically Track One of Learning Path Two on Discrimination. After the discussion, the volunteer team updated themselves on some of the current global human rights issues and were given an opportunity to reflect on the different ways they can impact change and create awareness.
The interactive session held on the 22nd of November with all the volunteers of the Malta Human Rights Education Centre tackled prejudice, stereotyping, and the different forms of discrimination that are prevalent in Maltese society. Stories That Move makes use of poignant stories from different youth across Europe to bring to light various forms of discrimination as well as to ask questions in order to give a space for reflection and understanding of how discrimination takes place in society.
Following this, the team continued to delve deeper into more thought provoking topics. By watching engaging videos on different issues we continued to entice each other into intricate discussions. These videos can be viewed by accessing the links below.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup currently taking place in Qatar was discussed, particularly the corruption, workers conditions and the human rights violations and controversies being at the forefront of the tournament. Members of the team who follow football closely feel conflicted watching due to these pressing matters, whilst others are boycotting the competition altogether due to it being shrouded in controversy and clear human rights violations.
Secondly, the protests occurring in Iran were also discussed. The team discussed women’s rights as well as freedom of expression, association and assembly, the right to be free from torture and other ill-treatment as well as the right to life within the context of the current protests and the worrying situation that we are all witnessing through the various forms of social media. What was highlighted in the video is that Iran is not requesting assistance or foreign intervention, but that the worldwide support for the protestors has been beneficial to the protestors in their fight for justice and accountability.
Finally, a discussion was held on climate change with particular attention to COP 26 and COP 27. An undeniable sense of dread filled the room as the worrying truths regarding climate change were displayed before us. Nevertheless, the team brainstormed the different ways in which we can all make a difference with small changes to our every day lives. It was also noted that despite the idea that it is the ‘big corporations’ that are the main polluters of the world, we too as individuals create a big burden on the environment and we too should be responsible for our actions.
Ultimately, the common feeling amongst the group was that these issues were dire, complex and truthfully overwhelming. Yet, a sense of optimism remained as although these issues continue to persist, the group is still determined and striving for change like many throughout the world.
Here is what some volunteers and educators had to say about the session:
The videos were very informative and eye-opening! I believe that more awareness on current issues is needed. Different views may stimulate a strong discussion.
It was a pleasure carrying out the learning path on discrimination with our youth volunteers; they always give me hope for a better future! Apart from this, it was an important session to carry out where issues on discrimination where broken down and discussed. It was a beneficial session for everyone involved in order to understand the machinery of discrimination, as well as our own stereotyping and prejudice.
The MHREC Watch Party was a good opportunity to remind us about the different global human rights issues being facing today and we remind ourselves we cannot live in a bubble.