Happy human rights day!

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday means that its been a heck of a busy week.

We kicked it off with the "Our World – Our Rights" conference last Saturday. 150 folk gathered in the (rather chilly) halls of Renfield St Stephens Centre to hear expert speakers review the state of human rights in Scotland and around the world, then attended a series of sessions bringing a human rights perspective to a range of policy areas – from disability and older people to trade unions and climate change. A great day and lots of interesting folk making lots of interesting connections. It would be nice to make it an annual event. But then it would be nice to be a little less hectic too. We’ll see.

All week we’ve been running a series of human rights-related films in association with Edinburgh’s Filmhouse and Glasgow Film Theatre. We’ve had some remarkable films, followed by some good discussions. Not much popcorn though. And those comfy bucket seats in the cinema don’t help with getting an audience to engage.

Wednesday 10th December was Human Rights Day itself, although I got a blank look when I wished the bus driver a happy one. We took our new posters of the UDHR in Scots down to the Scottish Parliament, where the First Minister had agreed to receive this first ever Scots print of the UDHR. A very jolly and convivial meeting it was too – with the FM pointing to the spot on his office wall where he is going to hang it and asking us for some explanatory text to go along side it. Every political leader should have the UDHR hanging on their office wall – if I have to frame them and take them all along personally then so be it.

Actually the Scots translation of the UDHR has gone down remarkable well. Perhaps its the Burns connection. Perhaps it’s the fact that the UDHR just sounds great in Scots.

We are greatly indebted to the various friends in the Scots community who made it possible – so thanks are due to Colin Donati of the Scots Language Society who did the translation, Chris Robinson from Scottish Language Dictionaries who provided the MP3 file of some of the articles in Scots and to Mike Hance at the Scots Language Centre who helped set it all up.

And finally, this will be the last Scottish blog of 2008 so a guid new year to ane an’ a’ – and see you in 2009.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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