In autumn 2019, Applied Human Rights Masters students organised a human rights project on human dignity. The project was facilitated by Dr Thomas Bundschuh. Students wanted to have a closer look at how human rights protect human dignity in practice. Hence, the objective of the project was to reach out to people and places concerned with human rights and the protection of human dignity. At the initial meeting students manifested their interests, possible contributions and contacts they could bring to bear on the project. Thus a programme was set up whereby students would lead the event, make presentations or invite human rights experts and practitioners to share their experiences and insights gained from working with people affected by human rights violations, infringing on their dignity.
Every second week on a Friday evening, a wide range of topics was explored, with invited guests, colleagues, current and former human rights Masters students leading the event:
- Orphanages in the Global South (Maja Robaszkiewicz, human rights Masters student)
- Epistemic Justice, Epistemic Dignity (Dr Thomas Bundschuh)
- Witchcraft Accusations in Africa - a Violation of Human Dignity (Ellen Johnson, former human rights Masters student)
- Survivor Narratives (Prof. Laura Murphy)
- Homelessness, Dignity and the Right to Adequate Housing (Becci James, former human rights Masters student, now working in the housing department of the municipality of Sheffield)
- Visitors from the organisation "Learn for Life" (Hayley Nelson, human rights Masters student and director of "Learn for Life"), working with refugees and asylum seekers in Sheffield
- Trauma and Legacy of the Holocaust (Lesley Klaff)
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking (Prof. Laura Murphy)
- Visit from the organisation "Mama Africa" (Marina Schirone), working with refugees in Bari, Italy.
On 4 December 2020 we had the pleasure of welcoming around 20 students from the organisation "Learn for Life", led by one of our human rights Masters students, Hayley Nelson. All of our visitors have fled from the ravages of war or rampant human rights violations or both. We showed them around the Collegiate campus, an opportunity which our visitors thoroughly enjoyed (see attached photo). Prof Sital Dhillon, Head of the HKC, and Matt Sands, for the HKC Refugee Clinic, also took time to address our visitors which was much appreciated. In sum, with the Dignity Project SHU human rights students organised themselves successfully in an innovative way to gain a deeper understanding of the practical role of human rights in the service of human dignity.