Global Peace Women launched their six-month webinar series in February featuring Dr. Eva Latham. Dr. Latham answered the question, “Where, after all, do human rights begin?” Eleanor Roosevelt, champion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, had posed the question. “Most parents expect their children to learn everything from schools, but home is where learning should start,” answered Dr. Latham.
Participants from 17 countries joined Dr. Eva Latham, president of Human Rights Teaching International and Aishwarya Chaturvedi, a young human rights advocate from India. “The child in the home learns from day one to respect itself and respect others in the family,” said Dr. Latham, drawing from her wealth of experience teaching peacekeepers, law enforcement and educators. She emphasized the importance of parents as the first teachers. She introduced the human rights passport, a practical tool to teach children and families about human rights. The passport facilitates a lifelong discourse between the child and the family to recognize basic needs and develop mutual respect.
Aishwarya Chaturvedi presented her capstone project for the Global Peace Women Leadership Academy as an example of how human rights can be addressed on the community level. With the support of her mother, Aishwarya worked with local children in Firozabad for 4 month between 2018-19 to apply her three “E” approach: Education, Exposure and Experience, to cultivate literacy, life skills, and human rights awareness. She shared case studies to show the project’s impact on the children’s academic, social, and physical well-being. One girl was able to stop incidents of unsafe touch in school, a boy overcame his stammer as he gained confidence and literacy. Aishwarya founded NIRMAN on the foundation of the project’s success.
The dynamic question and answer session addressed COVID19 related challenges to human rights, how to negotiate between cultural norms and human rights, and more on teaching values like integrity in the home.
“What GPW is trying to do, Peace Begins in the Home, no one has done before,” said Dr. Latham. “If we told kids, ‘I expect you to hold peace out there, I expect you to respect others out there, and you start here in the home,’ the world would be different.”