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Human Rights Week 2021


Human Rights Week is an annual event at Korea International School featuring guest speakers whose own experiences illustrate the importance of knowing and responding to current social issues. Human Rights Week (HRW) is organized by the KIS Human Rights Initiative (KHRI), a group of thirteen students. This year, HRW draws its daily themes from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Beginning Monday, April 19, middle and high school students may attend sessions centered on:

Responsible Consumption & Production
Sustainable Cities & Communities
Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions
Gender Equality
Reduced Inequality 

Guest speakers include Jonathan Hanta, a Congolese refugee who has lived in Korea since childhood, and Heather Barr, the interim co-director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. Often, a personal story or connection to an issue inspires empathy. At KIS, the KHRI wants to empower all students to act upon awareness. 

Many KIS students are familiar with the UN SDGs. In recent years teachers have incorporated these goals into lessons and activities, familiarizing students with global concerns and helping them to think about the relevance of these issues in their own lives and communities. Last year KHRI began partnering with teachers to implement UN SDGs at KIS. 

Conversations between teachers and students prompt application of UN SDGs on campus. For example, a simple, tangible response to the goal of responsible consumption and production is to reduce single-use plastics. Or, to promote gender equality, sports coaches can check that boys’ and girls’ teams receive equal practice time on playing fields and courts.

This year each HRW session pairs the guest speaker with a representative from a related KIS service project. KHRI hopes that once students learn about an issue, they will seek a way to personally affect change. This year’s featured KIS programs include the eco friendly BRAVO Club, Social Justice League, and Suji Love Drive. 

Follow Human Rights Week on KHRI social media @kishumanrights. Explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals. KIS encourages you to learn more and get involved to promote change and growth. 

Michelle (grade 12) and Hannah (grade 11) are members of KHRI and collaborated on this piece.