Student Hamss Dawood reports:
In November Loreto’s History Society had the pleasure of hosting Dr Celia Donert, of the University of Liverpool, for an invigorating talk on the history and politics of human rights and the role of non-governmental organisations in political conflict. Dr Donert started her talk by exploring the history of human rights and offering conflicting interpretations. Most notably, she outlined the hypocrisy evident in the early perceptions of what human rights entail by explaining how it was manipulated to suit the needs of the coloniser and the dictator. In a debate that is still argued today, Dr Donert questioned the validity of the concept of human rights and the selective nature of those in power, deeming others insignificant and unworthy of the same rights. She led the audience through the development of human rights, from philosophy to religion to morality and then to politics. Dr Donert also raised questions about the detrimental nature of “a-political’ charities and whether or not it was justified for an organisation to remain politically neutral.
It was a truly captivating talk from beginning to end, giving us a refreshing view and perspective. There was a large turn out to Dr Donert’s session, with a mixture of AS and A2 students attending. Not typically associated with a study of history, we were shown how human rights were inherently pivotal to major historical enquiry and no doubt the talk gave many students an insight into ideas of higher education. We thank her for her time and effort and would be delighted to welcome her again in the future.