Article #1 – We are all born free and equal. Seventy years ago the United Nations adopted a document that was a milestone in the history of humankind – a blueprint for how every person on our planet should be treated.The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an opportunity to commemorate, celebrate and critique this fundamental framework of freedom and equality for all humanity.

On 10th December 2018, the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance and the Community Arts Network (CAN) launched a very special community art project.

Using community arts practice to bring the words of the declaration to life through the eyes of young people, a 70 year old document has been transformed into a contemporary creative form as a small booklet titled ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Pocket Guide.’

Working with Youth Leaders at Edmund Rice Centre WA in Mirrabooka, CAN held workshops that examined the declaration, what the rights are, how they affect us and what their relevance is to young people. Together the young people explored how to represent the 30 articles of human rights through photography and art.

The young artists words and creative interpretations of the declaration were then drawn together to create the pocket guide and a series of interactive posters, brought to life through an augmented reality app called eVista.

This project was a successful collaboration between CAN, the Edmund Rice Centre and the Museum, a partnership critical to supporting and platforming voices that are too often unheard. By working together, the project has become a celebration of history’s intentions, our universal humanity, and a reminder of hope.

“In this book, through our young people’s artworks and reflections we see the essence of who we are as a nation connected to our universal humanity.  We are a dynamic multicultural country with a remarkable history, home to our first nations – the oldest living civilisation on earth.

All our children are part of this rich social fabric and deep heritage.  All our children have a right to express their unique selves, and to be connected to their homes and families and cultures, while enjoying all the rights set forth in the declaration.

By raising our children up through a strong human rights based approach, we form a humanity that eliminates discrimination, redresses injustices, achieves equality and reflects the vibrant diversity of Australia.

This book reminds us to place our rights in the hands of our children so we can bring into existence the future we all deserve.”

June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

“With the politics and narrative of fear, ignorance and division gaining a stronger voice, now more than ever it is important that we engage, teach and make ourselves and those that the future of this planet belongs to aware of those rights that so many fought so hard to defend, protect and preserve.

Every single man, woman and child has the right to decent health care, education, freedom to choose their lifestyle, practice their religion and express their opinions.  This booklet reminds us that today’s young are our tomorrow, and that the future, with their help, should be in safe hands.”

Rabia Siddique, International Humanitarian Lawyer, Professional Speaker and Author of Equal Justice.

“Coming to this country as a young child, it was education that helped me learn about Australia and fit in with my community.  Education changed my life.  I want to make sure that every child in Australia and beyond has the chance to get a great education so it can change theirs too.”

Dr Anne Aly, Member for Cowan