Coming back South to organise a Human Rights Conference
There are so many student organisations, student nations and communities in each university city in Sweden, sometimes it gets too hard to choose which one to get involved in. I had that dilemma upon my arrival, so I based my selection on the organisation that deals with the biggest amount of my interests and my studies here.
As a Master student in International Human Rights Law, I had the opportunity to run for President of a student-run human rights organization called Jus Humanis, based in Lund. I have a chance to work with 6 other motivated people who also happen to be my classmates. We, as Jus Humanis, see our role as promoters of human rights, raising awareness and educating. We often organize a lot of interesting events and there is always a very big fika included. 🙂
The events we organise every fortnight are very well received. The profile of the people attending is quite diverse in terms of fields of study, so it’s quite interesting to see how many young people want to hear about human rights and discuss these issues with them.
Personally, I believe organisations like these – human rights related or not – are quite a nice way to meet people during your stay in Sweden, to expand your views and learn something new each time. It also provides for an opportunity to meet and talk to experts from various fields, get to know their work and build connections.
So, apart from the regular events, we organise a Winter Forum each year. This year, we chose “right to sexuality” as a topic.
So, coming back from the biggest Nordic Human Rights Conference, the time had come for our Winter Forum to take place. We had put a lot of thought into the two days of lectures and discussions, had a big campaign and promoted the event because we thought this topic deserved a lot of attention by everyone.
We had arranged lectures on the recognition of LGBT community in the international sphere, sexuality as such in asylum procedures, LGBT Asylum claims and we finished the Forum with a movie and popcorn. 🙂 We heard about various issues the LGBT community faces in different parts of the world, how things are in Europe, in Sweden, or the issue of asking for asylum, on being persecuted and what that means exactly, what are the means to improve the current mechanisms etc.
Our lecturers were experts, professors and researchers from Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. It was such an honour to get in touch with these experts, talk to them, hear their lectures and engage into discussions. All of the lecturers were easy to communicate with and quite eager to give lectures for a student-run organisation. Of course, I am still getting used to calling my professors by their first name and having informal communication with them so it was an interesting experience. 🙂
My advice to anyone who comes to study in Sweden is definitely to join an organisation and volunteer. You meet new people, you learn new things and you have fun along the way (and fika).