Human rights are neither gifts nor can be learnt overnight. From the dawn of civilisation, different communities nourished the human rights norms just not only to be enlightened about rights but also to learn about their duties. These human rights norms found in customs, legends, fables and fairy tales have shaped the human rights concepts over the years. Most importantly, these tales trigger us to explore the morals and values that we should translate into our lives through a journey of understanding the human rights perspective in the metaphors hidden in the stories. For example, in the Hans Andersen's story –'the little duckling', a little duckling was brutally attacked for not being gorgeous; it makes us rethink whether we are treating people around with dignity or not! Because the story in fact is a reflection of our scepticism towards welcoming the differences and diversities around.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), translated into more than five hundred languages, lists bundle of such values and morals crafted in the social fabrics, literature and includes these rights as inherent in all human beings. Unfortunately, this guiding document of human rights fails to communicate its values to the common people; and therefore, the coaching of human rights needs to be unique and communicative. By revisiting the legends, tales and folklore, on one hand, we can meet our favourite fairy tales protagonists, and on the other hand,view the world in the light of human rights .
Rewinding these stories just not only feeds our fantasy but also provides us with the insight to rediscover the very essence thereof. We believe this new tool of learning will help us to grasp the human rights values more effectively and to learn the secret art of living because learning human rights values is imperative to realise the said art. In a nutshell, revisiting wonderland reminds us of the human rights teachings given by our ancestors which passed through from generation to generation.
Human Rights in the Wonderland , a Facebook page, is designed to promote human rights and to inspire people about learning human rights. Anyone can access the human rights in the wonderland page and learn the lessons offered, regardless of their age, colour, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity or any protected characteristics. Human Rights in the Wonderland is a joyride to empower compassion over cruelty. Travelling in and through the space of imagination, what wonderland offers- is a roller coaster ride. Above all, it is a training to strengthen the morality which we inherit from our ancestors. This initiative is one of its kind as fairy tales, legends and folklore belonging to diverse cultural settings, speak the languagecomprehensible to all human beings. People from every corner of the globe have already started joining the page and sharing their joy, appreciations and powerful feedbacks. This page aims at delivering stories and inviting you all to explore human rights norms weaved in these stories.
The writer is a registered volunteer, Northern Settlement Services, NSW Austalia.