As one of the participants, Paul Winter from Volunteers for Peace, said “I can only truly be human when I recognise humanity in other people”. But it was just one of many opinions that all the participants shared with each other when wondering what really makes us humans. We were drawing, writing, even making little pieces of contemporary art. Everyone had its own opinion on that matter but we all agreed that humans are very complex and it was challenging, trying to describe it. We also have been given booklets so that we could take notes and write our own reflections on the topic of Human Rights. It is called “My personal Declaration of Human Rights”.
But it was just the beginning of a day at Can Masdeu, a squatted house in Barcelona, where the Peace Action Week takes place. It focuses on the problems of Human Rights, especially on the right to food, housing and healthy life and it is hosted by SCI Catalunya.
To truly understand what Human Rights are, it is essential to know who are the actors and what are the international and regional treaty bodies that have an authority to change those rights and also to make a statement whether they are respected or not. That is why participants were completing the Path to Peace that was divided to three sections. The path also included case studies about violations of food and housing rights and a role of the main actors: IO, NGOs, CS, the State and citizens. During one of the sections, participants had to enter the room with lots of quotes all over the walls. Some of those statements or declarations were inspirational and controversial but they impossible to ignore. They made the participants reconsider their own approach to peace and what is really the meaning of that word.
Finally, we were discussing the problems in our countries regarding the rights to food and housing. It was a unique chance to get to know how the situation like in different parts of the world. But what are the solutions? This is the task for the next day of Peace Week in Barcelona.