Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on Dec. 10, but nine international studies students at Oklahoma State University are “observing” human rights all month.

The students have arranged events for Sunday and Monday to help provide education and awareness about issues that affect the world.

“Human rights are those we possess by virtue of being human,” said Robin Eleazer, a first year graduate student. “Human Rights abuses affect people. As caring citizens, we are advocates for children’s rights, economic, social and cultural rights, migrants, refugees and women’s rights. By showing that we care, we raise understanding.”

The first event will be a showing of the Oscar-winning documentary, “Born into Brothels,” on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Wes Watkins Center. The documentary explores the lives of the children of prostitutes in Calcutta, India.

“By the end of the film most of the children are enrolled and attending classes, however not all take the opportunity and choose to return to the brothels,” Eleazer said.

Monday at the Wes Watkins Center, human rights advocate Adriana Portillo-Bartow will speak at 4:30 p.m. with a candlelight vigil following at 6 p.m. at the corner of Hall of Fame and Washington. Portillo-Bartow fled Guatemala in 1985 after the country’s security forces killed one of her brothers and caused six relatives to “disappear.”

“She has since worked hard to educate the U.S. public about the devastating impact of torture, political trauma, and war and displacement on the individual, family, society,” Eleazer said. “She has also worked hard to raise awareness of and educate about the plight of the relatives of the disappeared.”

Eleazer encourages the public to attend the events.

“As students of International Studies, it is our mission to be a window into global events and to promote and encourage better understanding of contemporary international issues at Oklahoma State University,” she said.

Informational displays will be throughout the Wes Watkins Center during December.

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