‘We should all act like brothers and sisters’

The following essay by Marina Spyrou, 10, from the European School in Brussels, as well as those by Lynn Amende Abhulimen, 16, of Nigerian origin, from the 4th Senior High School of Ilion, and Fotini Dervissi, 11, from the Experimental School of Thessaloniki, were among 31 entrants who gained distinctions in a recent UN writing competition on human rights and poverty. «My father told me that he read in the newspaper that 8 million poor children die each year because they get sick and have no healthcare, 150 million children suffer because they don’t have enough food, and 100 million children live on the street. «All this shows that poverty is a very serious problem and that all the nations of the Earth should combine their efforts in order to change this. I think that the solution can come with education, training, help from the rich people and the richer countries. I also think that we should all act like brothers and sisters in a world of peace.» The competition, which was jointly organized by the UN Information Center, High Commission for Human Rights and Economic and Social Affairs Department on the occasion of World Human Rights Day, attracted entries from some 700 pupils around the world aged 8-18. As well as those mentioned at the beginning of this article, another 16 entries won prizes. World Human Rights Day is celebrated on December 10, the day when the Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948. Last year the theme of Human Rights Day was human rights and poverty. The prizes and distinctions were announced in mid-April. The essays were judged on their style, originality and how well they answered the question. Entrants had to choose an article from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and use a real-life example to illustrate how the violation of this right is a consequence of living in poverty, or to illustrate how the violation of this right can cause poverty, and to make their own suggestions as to how to avoid those problems.