International humanitarian law (IHL) is increasingly important in today’s world, which unfortunately contains much conflict. Our IHL Action Campaign Team at Valparaiso University is taking a part in educating the community about the value of IHL and human rights.
At the end of March, we will be hosting a variety of events throughout a week to attract the attention of many people in our diverse community. The first will be a presentation to educate the audience about the rules of war and what they say about torture. Immediately after, the audience will have the chance to walk through an interactive exhibit presenting the history of torture. Next, people interested in healthcare can learn about how torture presents itself in everyday health practices. The day after this, we will have a guest lecturer speak on her experiences with torture victims. We will also unveil an art exhibit with torture-related pieces submitted by members of the community. Finally, we will have a reading of poems with the theme of torture.
Our team works very well while putting these events together. During our meetings, everyone is able to comfortably voice their ideas and find things they are passionate about to add to the Campaign. We are all proud to be doing the work we’re doing.
Joining this Campaign informed me of the injustice in the world. People are being stripped of their self- worth and basic survival necessities. Not only is this treatment inhumane towards the victim, but it also has negative consequences for those allowing it to happen. I don’t think the world will have peace until everyone is given their inherent rights. This is why it is important to educate others on the importance of IHL.
Working for this Campaign has made me feel empowered — like I am able to make a positive impact on society. Hopefully, by actively involving people during our events, we can make them feel the same and inspire them to action as well. I think we will make an impact in promoting justice and dignity for everyone.
Author: Julia Serbin, Valparaiso University IHL Action Campaign, Northwest Indiana Chapter
*The purpose of the IHL Action Campaign is for young people to teach their peers about the importance of IHL, as well as issues related to healthcare in danger, torture, and humanitarianism.