Student symposium focuses on human rights in the Asia/Pacific region

For the second year in a row, Vancouver and Lower Mainland students gathered for a two-day symposium on wartime human rights in the Asia-Pacific region.  The 2nd annual International Human Rights Symposium was attended by more than 600 students and was held December 9 and 10 at Vancouver Technical Secondary (Van Tech).

Vancouver School Board and BC ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War 11 in Asia) organized the symposium to highlight wartime human rights in the Asia-Pacific region from 1931-1945, often referred to as the "Forgotten Holocaust." This year's event focused on the Japanese occupation of China.

Students travelled from Vancouver public schools in Burnaby, Delta, Mission and Surrey, as well as private schools in Vancouver. Most students at the event are taking Socials Studies 11, History 12, and Social Justice 12 courses.

Dale Martelli, Social Studies department head at Van Tech said "This year's event was remarkable. Thirty of our Van Tech students were involved in organizing the symposium. They helped with all aspects of organizing the event and they have all become activists at the school, taking on social justice issues and making the subject more meaningful for their fellow students."

December 10 is also recognized worldwide as International Human Rights Day and marks the United Nation Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Read more about this student conference in the Asian Journal (Dec 17, 2010 edition).

For more information on B.C. ALPHA & Canada ALPHA (Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia) go to www.alpha-canada.org


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