My name is Kyle Farquharson, and I’m a journalist who is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in my field at the University of British Columbia. My next few blog posts will pertain to an undergraduate elective course in which I’m enrolled, which deals with Human and Civil Rights in Latin America.
The reason I chose LAST 301 is because I have an interest in civil rights, freedom of the press, international relations, and Latin American issues…all of which areas this course explores to some degree. To all of my classmates, I look forward very much to meeting you.
Considering the time and place in which we find ourselves, and despite the advances we have made in Canada over the last century in terms of respecting each others’ cultures and fundamental needs, the discussion of human rights remains complex and laden with both nuance and obstacles.
In some ways, this troubles me; for instance, if and when I eventually have children, I’d like them to live in a world in which pandering to countries (I won’t name names for now) with a questionable human rights record for the sake of trade agreements will no longer be necessary, because international standards of human rights will be universally upheld, but I acknowledge that this is probably an unrealistic vision.
On a more positive note, the fact that we’re having discussions of human rights in the first place in Canada, and that these discussions are leading us to a measure of controversy (as in the case of the CMHR), is a positive sign in many ways. It means we acknowledge the importance of basic freedoms and fundamental prerogatives for all people, and we realize the importance of learning from the past, even if we understand that fair treatment for all is more attainable in theory than in practice.
I’m looking forward to some excellent (and highly enlightening) conversations. As a journalist, there’s nothing I welcome more than having my eyes opened to other ways of thinking 🙂
All the best!