Students Staff

29 November 2013

Essex students to mark Human Rights Day

Colchester Campus

Marte Lund Johannessen and Marte Lyngstad

Marte Lund Johannessen and Marte Lyngstad of the Human Rights Society

Students at the University of Essex are planning a series of events to mark international Human Rights Day on 10 December, culminating in writing the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the Colchester Campus’ iconic concrete squares.

Co-ordinated by the Human Rights Society, the events will focus on the right to education in areas of conflict and will include panel discussions with key experts, film screenings and a fundraising dinner. The programme opens with a screening of Over the Wall, a documentary about an English football team going to Palestine, on 2 December.

Further discussions and events will cover the right to education in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities. The fundraising dinner, on 6 December, will raise money for Syrian Relief and the UN Refugee Agency.

On 10 December, with help from student volunteers across the University, the team behind the programme will write out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles, in chalk, on the steps between Squares 3 and 4.

Marte Lyngstad, President of the Human Rights Society, explained the importance of marking Human Rights Day: “The declaration by the United General Assembly on 10 December in 1948 may have taken place more than 60 years ago but there remain corners of the world where communities do not have access to basic human rights such as the right to education.”

Marte Lund Johannessen, Vice-President of the Society, added: “The University has a long tradition of excellence and impact in upholding human rights and it is important to our student community that we continue that tradition by doing something that will really help people around the world.”

Throughout the week students will be raising awareness across the Colchester Campus and collecting clothes for Syria Relief.

The Human Rights Society has organised the programme of events with support from Free Syrian Students Society, Amnesty International Society, Essex Palestinian Solidarity Group, Munex (Model UN at Essex) and the Dignity and Respect Group.

See the full programme of events on the

Essex Human Rights Week 2013 Facebook page.

See how Human Rights Day was marked at Essex:


More information

For further information, please contact the University of Essex Communications Essex, telephone: 01206 873529 or email:

You are invited to send a photographer/crew/reporter to the chalking of the steps on 10 December, The event starts at 7am at the Colchester Campus. To confirm your attendance please contact us using the details above.

...more news releases