Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω
Mike Wolfson and Aachal Goundar, both law students at TRU, were on their way home to Vancouver in the fall when they realized they were both passionate about human rights and wanted to get more students involved in discussion about human rights issues. As of January 2013, the two students made the Human Rights Club an official group at TRU.
The goal of the club is to increase awareness and discussion about, as well as promote the protection of, human rights. They plan to host a conference, bring in guest lecturers and show films to establish TRU as an advocate and promoter of human rights.
They also hope to act as a resource for students at TRU by directing people to information about a wide range of topics. As law students, Wolfson and Goundar are not able to give legal advice, but they can tell people where to look for information. They want to apply this practice to the club, as well.
“This is more like a vehicle to help people realize their goals,” Goundar said.
More than 20 students from a variety of backgrounds have shown-up to their first set of meetings, but they are hoping to generate more interest, particularly among students outside the law school. Though they plan to have a table set up at clubs day in September, the hope is to start building the group this semester.
“We’re just putting down the foundation,” Goundar said. “These issues are not just for the legal environment.”
The theme this week for the Human Rights Club is human trafficking. Tania Vig, law student and member of the club, chose a topic she felt passionate about and found a film she hoped would raise awareness about the issue. On Thursday, March 14, Vig and the Human Rights Club will be showing Enslaved and Exploited: The Story of Sex Trafficking in Canada at 12:30 p.m. in the Clock Tower’s Alumni Theatre. There will be a discussion about the issue of human trafficking in Canada thereafter.
Though human trafficking is rarely thought of as a problem in a developed country like Canada, there were 56 cases before the courts as of April 2012 according to Public Safety Canada. At least 26 of these cases involved persons under the age of 18. Though Canadians may not find this to be a noticeable problem, it is happening, nonetheless.
The Human Rights Club can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/TruHumanRightsClub, Twitter at twitter.com/TRUHumanRights and on their website and blog at truhumanrights.com. Students looking for further information about meeting dates and times can contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.