Human Rights Day is celebrated every year around the world on 10 December.
Nine storytellers from all over the world tell their stories about human rights:
In order of appearance:
Beatriz Montero (Spain)
8 October 2016 - Pinto, Madrid, Spain.
Antonio and María del Carmen, two elderly deaf-mutes, are evicted from their home after endorsing son´s home. They cannot read or write.
8 February 2011 - Egypt.
Wael Ghonim, Google executive, was arrested. He was blindfolded for 12 days. He couldn't hear anything. He didn't know what was happening.
30 December 2015 - Saudi Arabia.
19 year old woman raped by a gang of seven in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail.
16 November 2016 – Mauritania.
Demonstrators in Mauritania called for death sentence to be carried out against a blogger convicted for criticizing Mauritania's caste system.
Jozé Sabugo (Portugal)
In addition to other rights and duties enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16 of the same timetable states the following: "...The family is the natural and fundamental element of society and has the right to the protection of society and the state."
That is why my dear friends with a fraternal spirit, the family gives us the right to be who we are and the duty to share what is.
Cecilia Moreschi (Italy)
In a big city like Rome, with almost three million inhabitants, there are people of all kinds. For example, in a big city like Rome, there are families whose last name is famous for associations with facts of crime, drugs and corruption. And sooner or later, in a big city like Rome, in such family a child is born.
In a big city like Rome, multiple, different cults coexist. Some of them are given the dignity and respect that a great, millennial, religious tradition deserves, accepted by all, even by those who do not believe. Other less important are labeled as strange cults, and the followers are treated with suspicion and ill-concealed contempt. But sooner or later, even in a family that embraces this faith, a child is born.
In a big city like Rome, people come from all over the world. People with different colors, different habits and above all different names. Men and women have always traveled, have changed their nation and learned new languages, new costumes, new dishes to cook. So it happened that in the last century one of these men has stopped in a big city like Rome, and has made it his home. And since in west countries the last name is passed from father to son, a child is born in the decades that instead of being Rossi, Bianchi and Verdi, has a hard and stranger name to pronounce that arouses laughter and comments in anyone who reads it for the first time.
These three children grow up, go to school. They become friends, playing football together near their houses, with dozens of others. But each of the three, by the mere fact of being born in that family, and not in another, carries on their shoulders a burden, a prejudice, something that is watched by adults with distrust, reluctantly invited to the home of other boys, and it is given a future already written of delinquency, marginalization, alienation.
We forget that they are only children who would have every right to be treated simply as others. Starting equally. And writing their future.
Hamid Barole Abdu (Eritrea)
For human beings in the world to live in peace.
Human rights must be respected
If someone’s rights are disregarded
His only thought is to do wicked acts.
If we stay silent, while human rights are violated.
It is big crime on our conscious, tomorrow we have to answer for.
Enrique Páez (Spain)
Speaking about human rights, it should be said that human rights are not only the right to a name, to a nationality, to freedom, to work to housing, to education, but also another right seldom named: And it is the right to die with dignity, the right to choose the way of dying. That won't be others, for religious, moral or ethical reasons, of any kind, others that have nothing to do with us, who choose the way we have to die, and when we have to die. I want to be the owner of my life, and I also want to be the owner of my death, so I want to be legalized the assisted suicide and euthanasia. I want nobody decides for me in this life, and that nobody decides for me what way or when do I have to die.
Sandra Burmeister G. (Chile)
Once upon a time, a group of people met.
People came from many different places.
People are very different from each other.
There were people with different skin color, hair and eyes of a different color.
(Oh! You want to see? Oh ! Good, good...)
The traits of people were very different.
(There, you can see Oh! How color! Look, look! Do you like?)
Some countries had come out of a terrible war.
(Yes, a big war)
This caused a group of people gathered because of a wish: It would never again war in the world.
So that no one was badly treated.
Without persecution to people who had not harmed anyone.
Thus, all people drafted a document in which they summarized the rights of human beings and that everyone should respect.
This document is called: Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
D.M.S. Ariyrathne (Sri Lanka)
Man kills animals
Man kills other men
Man is mad
Why does he kill others?
Man filled with greed
Man entangled with lust
Man hates others and takes revenge
Who will rule the empty world?
Suzanne Sandow (Australia)
Kind of tricky talking about Human Rights as an Australian with our appalling record with asylum seekers. And I live in Victoria and just this week kids on remand have been rioting and what do we do we take them from the juvenile facilities and put them in the adult prison where things are really harsh.
Anyway today there was a bit of a triumph, and yesterday. There were protesters who went to Parliament House for the final days of sitting and um yesterday some of them glued their hands to hand rails and today they put red paint in a fountain, and unfurled a banner – talking about refugees and how we have to help refugees.
And on a more positive line I thought I would talk about and incentive my sister and her husband started in Broome - which is North West Australian. It’s right up the top – top end. And um huge Aboriginal community, quite transient at times, a lot of single parents a lot of poverty and quite hungry kids with chances of their brains not developing properly. So my sister and her husband and another couple started feeding the children on Friday and Saturday nights. And um they started with children in a park and now, its really its up - four years later two hundred and fifty kids get fed every Friday and Saturday night. There’s been a lot of funding there have been a lot of people involved helping cooking, sorting, learning skills from doing this work. And the crime rate of course has gone down because the kids aren’t hungry, and aren’t starving with nothing to do. They’re well fed so they don’t need to pilfer whatever food they can or nick money so they can buy food.
So that’s a positive Human Rights story – from Australia.
Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher (Italy)
Once upon a time there was the country of ‘us’.
‘The country of us’ was inhabited by people whose names were easy to pronounce.
You, me, myself, you all, me too, still you, what about me? What about you? And so on.
Outside the ‘country of us’, there were ‘them’.
They had less simple names to pronounce. At least to ‘us’.
He, she, the other one, the others, all the others, that guy, that other guy, these people, but why do not they stay at their place? Etc.
Now, it just happens that many of the ‘people of us’ did not see kindly ‘them’, fearing that they could steal something, such as the future. Thus, due to the suggestion of some delusional, crazy screamer, the ‘people of us’ were convinced that the best way to prevent ‘them’ from robbing was to deprive us of the best we had. Everything happened in the ‘country of us’.
There were those who cancelled love and those who negated imagination, those who lost the sense of humor and those who forgot the understanding. There were those who renounced to have a voice and there was even people who eliminated from their lives the way that leads to another one. I mean, can you imagine how boring is to see one horizon up to death? Everybody severed part of himself the most worthy in the world, but the majority agreed to leave untold privileges, true gift from the past. A wrapped present at the price of dreams and blood, for the love of ‘us’ in the future: human rights.
It was the deprivation that worked better. Enough with the right to food and the right to a shelter against rain and cold, stop with the right to care and the right to welcome. No more, in short, the right to exist and all became easier. Indeed, from easy it became natural to ignore, rape, torture, discriminate, sacrifice, stomp, exploit… ‘them’.
The problem is that by removing everything, many inhabitants were unable to remember what being ‘me’ meant.
So many started to believe to be ‘us’.
I am ‘us’.
And all the others became ignorable, functional, usable, torturable, sacrificable.
Because all the others that were not ‘me’ had become ‘them’.
“Storytellers for Peace” is an international network of narrators who create collective stories through videos. Artists and stories are from all over the world and speak about peace, justice, equality and human rights. All participants tell one or more verses of the story in their first language. The project was created and is coordinated by Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher, author, storyteller, stage actor and director.