More than 2,100 students took part in the survey, and 1,700 students joined the seminar from 210 colleges around the world.

The human rights issue is not only for specific people in specific places. Since the rights are for us, humanity, it is an important matter for all of us. Human rights become a barometer that determines the direction and quality of our lives at all times and predicts the future of society.

All are entitled to equal protection, wherever and whoever they are.

The issue of equality was adopted in Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948, when people from all over the world and all UN member states gathered.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasizes that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity, and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms equally without distinction.
The basic human rights that everyone should enjoy regardless of political, cultural, social, and religious backgrounds are defined as civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined that recognizing human rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of justice. Furthermore, it became the foundation of legal binding international human rights conventions: the Vienna Declaration in which people were determined to solidify and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other kinds of human rights conventions.

On December 10, 2004, about 55 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the World Program for Human Rights Education. The program consisted of four phases. The last fourth phase (2020–2024) focuses on the human rights education for youths and young adults (15–24 years old) and their human rights activities. In addition, it emphasizes that the participation and role of young adults are essential in many policies and activities around the world to protect human rights.
Thus, ASEZ has been raising awareness of human rights and carrying out practical activities in celebration of the Human Rights Day on December 10 every year, since 2018.

In 2021, ASEZ carried out human rights activities centered on college students to pay attention to the human rights issues of college students, raise human rights issues on campus, and seek solutions. It is to change the human rights culture on campuses around the world by raising awareness and protecting human rights, being led by college students.

The campaign which lasted for one month in December began with a human rights survey that was centered on each club by college, and with experts’ consultation. It is to examine the human rights issues that occur on campuses or among college students, and to derive solutions and the role of college students.

Based on the survey and agenda, ASEZ club held a seminar on each campus. They informed the definition and value of human rights, human rights sensitivity that college students should have, and planned a campaign after sharing the results of the survey and the agenda.
The enrolled students, professors, human rights experts, and local government officials participated in the expert lecture. The experts gave a lecture on the definition of human rights, the necessity of human rights activities, and the role of college students.

Joseph Berra, the Human Rights in the Americas Project Director with the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, explained the history and progression of the human rights framework, saying, “We should realize that humanity depends on harmony with other human beings and the earth.”
Professor Lee Jang-hui of the Department of Law from Changwon National University gave a lecture titled, “What Are Human Rights?” At his lecture, he emphasized that college students should pay attention to human rights and make efforts for it. “In order for human rights to be realized in our everyday life, it is important to respect others and live with them,” said Professor Lee.

Shin Min-seop (Changwon National University) said, “While preparing for this seminar, I’ve realized that there are many human rights-related organizations and organizations that can help students. I will make efforts to promote human rights issues and encourage other students to respect human rights on campuses.”

ASEZ in Korea Held an Online Seminar

The seminar consisted of video congratulatory messages, the introduction to ASEZ, the introduction to Human Rights Day, expert lectures, survey & agenda proposal, and a performance.

Video congratulatory messages for the seminar arrived from all over the world. New York State Assemblyman in the U.S. Nader Sayegh said, “ASEZ really allowed us to focus on issues that confront us as human beings.” He added, “We really believe that it is the responsibility and the role of college students to take on the mission to protect human and international rights.” You are the generations that will be the decision makers of how we will react on human rights to take place.
I’m very proud of you.” In addition, the Mayor of Mumbai, India, the President of the University of Augsburg in the U.S., and the President of Korea Maritime & Ocean University gave congratulatory speeches.

The seminar was held via ZOOM and Youtube (streaming). The ASEZ club presidents presented the survey and the agenda via ZOOM.
The survey of about 2,100 people demonstrated the details and cases of human rights violations on campuses, human rights clauses that need to be added or changed, what college students should do to resolve them, and proposed an agenda.

Major human rights violations on campuses included racism, gender discrimination, hierarchical culture on campuses, forceful religious classes, and human rights issues for persons with disabilities. In particular, it was reported that the right to safety and right to education were violated due to COVID-19. As classes were held online at school due to the COVID-19, no textbooks were tailored to the visually impaired and the hearing impaired, and the access to the online education system such as Zoom was not accurately guided. In addition, during offline classes, the right to move and study were being violated due to the lack of barrier-free facilities for students with disabilities.

Ewha Womans University ASEZ Club President Lee Hye-won said, “Major human rights violations, discrimination against international students, and gender discrimination in the colleges have been raised. Thus, cultural exchange campaigns and raising awareness activities were set on the agenda.” Explaining the infringement of the right to study for the handicapped due to the extension of distance learning, she explained, “It is difficult for student with disabilities to understand the video lectures without subtitles. Particularly, hearing impaired students have difficulties when professors hide their mouths with face masks, and it is difficult for visually impaired students to access the school website.” She added that it must be improved as quickly as possible.

University of Seoul ASEZ Club President Lee Ji-hwan said that it was necessary to promote the human rights center on campus and expand its functions. “Even though there is the human rights center on campus, about 60% of the students said that they did not know that it exists, and about 60% of the students said that they didn’t know what the center does.” He added, “In Korea, colleges are required by the law to establish a human rights center on campus. However, human rights issues are likely to occur; because there is a great difference in budget and recruitment system by college, and because college students are not included in the committee.” In addition, he pointed out that international students and classmates with disabilities should be allowed to join the recruitment.
In addition, he said the issue of racism in colleges was raised. In colleges, students from different races take classes together, and it has turned out that there are still racial discriminations on campuses; students have different perception and attitude by race, and make the mistake of generalization and silent alienation.

The agenda suggested through this survey is as follows.

■ Establish online class guidelines to guarantee the right to education, set up evaluation standards, and introduce a system to reflect the evaluation results.

■ Make a regulation to form the advisory committee members with enrolled students (including international students and students with disabilities) when establishing human rights-related departments or counseling centers to improve human rights issues between seniors and juniors, professors and students.

■ Establish new barrier-free facilities to guarantee the right to study and movement for classmates with disabilities, and establish a committee to continuously manage and supervise them.

■ Establish an online learning environment for the disabled (providing textbooks, making videos about how to approach online learning, etc.)

■ Reinforce human rights education, develop and implement various human rights education programs to develop college students’ human rights sensitivity.

■ Hold cultural exchange programs for the socially underprivileged students and foreign students.

Korea University ASEZ Club President Jo Yeong-bin said, “Through the expert lectures, I’ve learned that human rights sensitivity should be raised. Human rights sensitivity indicates the ability to see absurdity, irrational practices, and institutions in society from the perspective of human rights issues. This shows how much we are aware of human rights, the basic rights for human beings.” He suggested the STEP activity to raise human rights sensitivity as a college student. S stands for study on human rights, T for thinking of human rights in daily life, E for equality, and P for partnership for sustainable and reproductive cooperation.

Lastly, the seminar ended with a performance called “Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday,” with the determination: “Let’s start protecting human rights from our daily life together.”

Parker J. Parmer and Arthur Zajonc, the educators and authors of THE HEART OF HIGHER EDUCATION discussed on the nature of college education and said, “If education loses its connection to life, the term ‘learners’ becomes empty.” We hope that college students will accomplish justice to protect everyone’s human rights with human rights sensitivity.