The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages – and as relevant today as it was on the day that it was proclaimed.

To highlight what the Universal Declaration means for people in their everyday lives, UN Human Rights launched a year-long campaign that will culminate in the occasion of the Declaration’s 70th anniversary celebration on 10 December 2018.

The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance is partnering with the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) to present an online exhibition of photographs and artworks based on their 2018 Yolande Frank Art Awards.  These awards honour the memory of Holocaust survivor Yolande Frank, who had a passion to ensure that children understood the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Here is a selection of works from the 2018 awards.

Flowerhead, Madison Snelling, Prendiville Catholic College

“My artwork conveys the growth of the human race since the universal declaration of human rights, as a celebration of the 70 year anniversary. However, the melting of the boy’s body conveys how although he still has grasp of the declaration the world needs to adjust itself to cater for modern day issues that are affecting us now, like gun violence and global warming.”

Injustice, Nicola Grobbelaar, Prendiville Catholic College

“Millions of people are forced to flee their countries, not knowing if they’ll ever belong again.  Human rights to me means that people get equal rights and chances to succeed in whatever they stand for.  I wanted to combine the ideas of belonging and refugees into one and send a message to first world countries.  I want people to realise that first world countries need to be providing a safe haven to those forced out of their country through war or poverty.”

Tree of Humankind, Lloniq Lai, Corpus Christi College

“My artwork is about the ignorance of society towards the poor and needy.  Though we acknowledge them we ignore their presence in society.  Contrasting gloomy hues of blue in the edges and brightened highlighted points form a vanishing point amplifying the faces of the ignored. ”

Teacups, Holly James

“My artwork explores the ongoing global refugee crisis and references coming to Australia by boat.  I wanted to capture the uncertainty that refugees go through to get to Australian shores through the symbolism of the broken tea cups, thrown away at second-hand shops, and the small resin ‘children’ who are transparent.  It shows how we as a society have lost our basic values and should show compassion, tolerance and trust to those struggling to make it to safer shores.”

Scuplture (Avenlee), Brooke Lamb, Peter Moyes Anglican Community School

“The imagination and naivety concealed within the hands of a child is powerful and will triumph everything.  It is at this point that we will find true peace.”

Respect Difference, Ariella Schwarz, Carmel Primary School

“Each shape and pattern is different like the people in the world.  We should respect that, not take away their rights because they are different.  We should give everyone an education no matter how difference they are.”

Dear Future, Theodora Berbece, Divine Mercy College

“My drawing is a reflection of my dream to become an artist.  That’s why I drew a hand with paintbrush painting on the canvas and added little features like a pallet, paintbrush container and curtains.  I added features that are in my actual room as that environment helps my inspiration and my desire to explore my child imagination.”