Friday, 12 December 2008

Proud Human Rights

Human Rights Day on December 10th is quite evident to see in Tuzla. There are big events with local rock bands, fashion shows and children's plays out on the Korzo (the pedestrianised drag through the centre of town). People hand out sandwiches, sweets, fridge magnets, copies of the declaration of human rights, and packs filled with educational games for children. There are posters up all over town. Pretty much everyone knows that December 10th was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even in the boys' nursery the Rights of Children are predominantly displayed so that all may know and understand them. The International Community will be proud; the local population is aware.

The most exciting event for me is a Human Rights Film Festival - showing films in what could almost (if I shut my eyes and squint a bit) be a cinema. I went along to a film yesterday morning, starting at 9am and was surprised to find about 40 other people there. We watched a film about the persecution of homosexuals in 1930s Nazi Germany. Bosnia is not a society open to homosexuality. The first Gay Pride march in Sarajevo in September was attacked,10 people were hospitalised and the rest of the event was cancelled (see here for more information). But I do find it interesting that local human rights organisations are starting to tackle this type of issue, a sign, perhaps, that society is moving on from the conflict of 1992-95?


Grande Poobah said...

Today I read that HK's first gay pride march (scheduled for this weekend) is at risk, as they can't find a bus company to rent them an open topped bus for the event. One company was quoted as saying it was bad for their corporate image.

Fortunately they are now being prosecuted.

Hurrah for change! Hurrah for rights!

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