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  • June 26, 2024

    Global Human Rights: International Student Perspective

    International students must negotiate the complex issues of human rights in today’s globalized world while capturing opportunities and overcoming challenges. Experience firsthand what they have to say on the dynamics of globalized human rights.

    For centuries, common aspirations for mutual respect, peace, and understanding were reflected in traditional concepts across cultures and civilizations – from ‘ubuntu’ (I am because of who we all are) in African philosophy to ‘sumak kawsay’ (harmony within communities, ourselves and nature) in Quechua. (1) In today’s globalized society, having access to education is essential for both empowerment and development. For international learners seeking an education, getting to universities that provide high-quality education frequently requires overcoming obstacles related to cultural and geographical factors. But the promise of information is an environment divided by unfairness and difficulties. Globally, places of conflict, discriminatory legislation, and socioeconomic issues provide strong challenges to education. Many people’s access to academic possibilities is restricted because of factors including poverty, gender inequality, or a lack of infrastructure. Furthermore, overcoming language obstacles educational system unfamiliarity, and visa limitations adds layers of complication to the educational path for international students. On the other hand, UNESCO promotes global citizenship education to help learners understand the world around them and work together to fix the big problems that affect everyone, no matter where they’re from. (2)

    The rights to work and immigration are key issues for anyone looking for opportunities elsewhere. I have personally experienced the importance of these rights having negotiated the complicated international immigration and work procedures. Migrant workers are a key, but often ignored, part of Canadian society. (3) Having the right to work and immigrate promotes both professional and personal development in addition to economic stability. But obtaining these rights may frequently be a difficult and complicated procedure, full of obstacles like language challenges, cultural differences, and visa restrictions, as I mentioned before. In addition, a lot of immigrant’s experience discrimination and exploitation at work because of their immigration status. This emphasizes how urgently strong legal barriers and enforcement strategies are needed to protect migrant workers’ rights. The fact that the issue is gaining recognition among Canadian society is a good sign, and a step in the right direction.(4)  It is imperative that Canadians continue to push for migrant worker rights – without migrant workers, our society would not function, and it is about time we start treating them with the respect they deserve. (5)

    To promote mutual respect in our global community, cultural integration and exchange are essential elements. I truly believe in the transforming potential of international relationships, having personally experienced their beneficial consequences. People can overcome differences and foster empathy and respect for one another by accepting one another’s immigration, languages, and points of view. That being said, genuine integration involves actively engaging with and learning from each other’s cultures in addition to simple coexisting. Everyone may feel appreciated and respected in our environments if we celebrate variety and encourage tolerance. Every interaction from eating together to taking part in cultural festivals offers the chance to create bonds and create a community that is more harmonious. Accepting cultural integration and interchange improves our individual experiences and makes our communities stronger by encouraging a sense of unity and belonging despite our diversity. Though Canadian institutions invest significant resources in orientation and integration programs, and many use researched best practice models, there remain both internal (student) and external (institutional, structural) factors which influence the formation of friendships between international and Canadian students. (6)

    International students are essential to bringing about beneficial change in advocacy and empowerment, both locally and internationally. International students improve conversations and activities focused on solving social justice issues and encouraging empowerment with their different backgrounds, different viewpoints, and shared experiences.  I begin by using feminist and postcolonial insights on relations of power at local and global levels to sketch the central concepts of empowerment, advocacy, and globalization. (7) International students frequently act as drivers for advocacy efforts, whether through student-led organizations, community outreach initiatives, or academic studies. Using their personal experiences and cultural understandings, they call attention to topics including gender inequity, environmental sustainability, human rights violations, and educational access to encourage change. International students offer invaluable viewpoints and abilities to teams at work, improving them with their knowledge of cultures, adaptability, and global perspective. They are role models of determination and tenacity, encouraging people to accept variety and follow their dreams as they successfully negotiate unfamiliar environments and overcome obstacles.

    From the viewpoint of an international student, the growth and protection of global human rights are closely related to the idea of safety and security. These students know firsthand how important it is to live in a place where their fundamental rights are protected and safeguarded since they frequently navigate varied cultural environments. Beyond providing physical safety, ensuring safety and security also entails defending liberties like the right to free speech, association, and education from discrimination. International students support strong legislative frameworks and international cooperation to confront violations of human rights and create inclusive, fair learning environments. Their different points of view emphasize the importance of international cooperation in addressing problems like racism, abuse, and inconsistent access to resources, stressing that a safe environment is essential to their academic and personal growth.

    International students have serious concerns about global human rights, which include advocacy, empowerment, safety, and security. Strong support and safety are crucial for these students because they often experience difficulties in unusual environments. Through promoting their rights and raising their voices, we can create a learning environment that is more diverse and fairer. Giving international students the resources and networks they need helps them overcome obstacles and promote change. Let’s work together as Marl Vision is to Live Right to protect them, encourage their activism, and provide them with what they need to build a fair and compassionate world.

    References:

    1,2- https://www.unesco.org/en/global-citizenship-peace-education/need-know

    3,4,5- https://lawofwork.ca/migrantworker-lay/

    6- https://cbie.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/CBIE-Research-in-Brief-2-The-Integration-Challenge-EN.pdf

    7- https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17496530701237142

     

    Research/Written By: Fabiola Mlika

    Youth Program Coordinator

    liberties@marl.mb.ca

     

    Featured picture: RDNE Stock project

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