HRW’s Zama Coursen-Neff Inspires New Roads Students

Photos by Patricia Williams

Feb. 11, 2013: “People often say that human rights violations are like mushrooms, they grow best in the dark… One of the most important things that students can do to promote human rights is to stay informed about the issues,” Zama Coursen-Neff, HRW’s Children’s Rights Division Director, told 150 captivated New Roads 9-12th grade students and teachers.

Zama’s discussion ranged from the right to education to children in armed conflict and child marriage, from how American students can affect change to the steps Human Rights Watch takes to protect children at home and abroad. Students asked engaging questions and left inspired to advocate for children around the world.

“She made me more appreciative of what we have in our educational system.  I know it’s not perfect but we are at least safer than many other parts of the world.  Her story of girls and boys taken out of school to be used for marriage and child soldiers was really shocking.  Her presentation makes me want to do more within my community,” said a New Roads junior.

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