Molly Maguire, whose farm had been stolen by the British during the Irish Potato famine, used to wake her children to these words; "Awaken my dearest, awaken. What tyrant shall we topple today?"
Awakening to human rights is a moral imperative. One needs to protect oneself as well as others in need. How does the human rights movement present the world with a way for a person to jump in this river of consciousness to help oneself or another? An important question that demands an answer.
My answer is to grab the world by one place, one spot and one action. The Human Rights Action Center is putting up a human rights portal that covers the globe. The spot is www.humanrightssearch.net and it is easy to use, comprehensive and quick and leads one into action. The portal is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, whose cause has been a 20-year campaign of HRAC. The portal is the largest in cyberspace. It simply grabs important human rights reports and sticks them up there for all to see and react to.
The portal is built to help students and adults to reach any country any time for their information about abuses of their citizens. The portal has added features like concerts, animation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Covenants, and a real time news feed.
The goal is to give the interested, the activist, the teacher, the student as much as they can handle when it comes to human rights monitoring and doings. Most human rights groups work on their own stuff and they should. This portal works for all of them without worrying about borders. It does not raise money and will not. It is an educational tool only.
Most people think the people suffering in human rights situations are older people. They are not. They are young, sometimes very young. These folk need your help. Boys and girls need to protect one another, here and there.
Come to the portal. Enjoy it. Use it. Test it. But please do something about human rights as soon as you can. It is a searchable guide to the Human Rights happenings the world over; it was launched today enabling all in cyberspace to find, follow and weigh in on all the significant human rights events and issues. The human rights portal -- Human Rights Search -- www.humanrightssearch.net -- provides searching by concept, text words and/or geography. Click on a world map, select say "torture" and information regarding torture in that area of the world appears, selected from the world's largest repository of vetted human rights information. Or select "female circumcision" and find all the nations where this is a human rights issue. The portal user can tie together the documents on a human rights subject with an up to the minute news feed, which can be personalized to obtain material only from selected subjects or countries.
Human Rights Search material does not contain all of the many millions of documents, blog postings, comments, and irrelevant information, inevitable with Google and Bing searches. Instead all its material has been curated by the Human Rights Action Center. It was created so the many people who are so interested in human rights issues and happenings do not have to point, click and view their way through the many documents regardless of relevancies, accuracies, duplicates and/or importance. Human Rights Search obtains a much better quality of information by filtering out the unimportant and untrustworthy. Given the international nature of human rights, this portal is currently in English, French and Spanish.
It's my hope that in addition to interested adults, young people and their teachers and parents will rediscover what brought musicians from all over the world to come to this cause, what brought 65,000 people to be together in Giants Stadium, and what brought together people in Cairo, and Beijing, and Tehran. Yes we want students and others to study and write about human rights and use our search engine to help do it. But above all we want all to understand that both the struggle and the dream go on.
The Portal, in addition to the search engine, has an action area that portal users can link to which provides:
- The ability for every person to make and post a personal declaration of human rights via the written or spoken world; prose, poetry or song; text, graphics, video, mashups, etc.
- An area for users to nominate exemplary human rights efforts for kudos and recognition.
- J'Accuse: The ability for anyone to make public an accusation of human rights violation and for accused nations to respond. Those with additional information or evidence can make it available.
- An International Journal of Techniques for Human Rights activists, monitors and officials the world over.
- A capability for any of the users to communicate with others who wish to be contacted via a Private Communications system that does NOT go through the email system of the Internet.
The Human Rights Search Portal was developed with the funding assistance of New World Foundation and the Eigen-Arnett Educational & Cultural Foundation. The portal was developed and programmed by Stan Salett and BEA Enterprises, Inc. of Potomac, MD. It uses Drupal Web and Thunderstone Search technologies.