Interview with Sima Samar, 2012 Right Livelihood Laureate

The Press Office of the Global Campus of Human Rights had the honour to interview 2012 Right Livelihood Laureate Sima Samar about her important work as an Afghan activist and her participation in our EMA Graduation Ceremony.

You were a keynote speaker at our EMA Global Campus Europe Graduation Ceremony this year, could you share with us about your impressions of this event and the role of human rights education in improving our world challenges?

It was a real pleasure and honour to be with the ED and all the staff who are involved in the Global Compass for Human Rights. To watch the enthusiasm and dedication to the promotion and protection of human rights in our troubled world. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the UDHR. This document draws a clear line between violence, aggression and lawlessness and to live with rights, freedom and dignity, regardless of your skin colour, religion you practice, language you speak, geography you live, etc. and the main focus is on equality and human dignity. Although we achieved a lot in this front, we still witness a lot of human rights violations and pushback on human rights. This young woman and man who studies human rights is a hope for a better future for the coming generation. We need a lot more and need to expand the programs about human rights at all levels around the world. Unfortunately the space for HRD and Democracy is shrinking in one way or another, that is why we need more committed, dedicated people on the principles of human rights. The second point that I would like to mention is the universality of Human Rights, violation of human rights anywhere is against human dignity and humanity in general and graduate students should be Ambassadors for human rights anywhere and all the time.

As an Afghan Human Rights Activist and Right Livelihood Laureate 2012, what are your key objectives and aims for your work as a human rights defender?

As an activist and Laureates of Right Livelihood Award, my objective is the promotion, protection, educating people about their rights and promoting the rule of law.

Equality among the people, regardless of their gender, race, religious belief and so on. I see the solution to all the problems around the world to implement the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UDHR, and promote the rule of law, accountability and justice. As we all say no one should leave behind.

Particularly on women's rights, recognition, inclusion and support, yet the women are fully equal.

How could we help to improve the situation of women in Afghanistan and their rights?

Afghanistan is a country where human rights violations continue without any accountability and justice for 45 years. People were caught between the extreme left with USSR puppets and invasion and extreme rights such as the Taliban which was trained by Western countries to stop communism. Afghanistan is currently the only country without a constitution, and the only country in this century to put an official ban on women and girls education.

The people in Afghanistan are living under the gender apartheid regime. And this is an International crime committed by the Taliban under the watch of all of us. The violation of women's rights in Afghanistan is not only a problem of few city-educated women, it is a problem for every household and it is a problem of the whole Afghan society and it is a problem of humanity.

Everyone has a responsibility to call for accountability and justice in Afghanistan to stop the culture of impunity for these exceptional crimes committed based on gender.

Could you please leave a message to the students, professors, alumni, staff and partners of the Global Campus of Human Rights?

My gratitude to the people administrative, professors, students and donors. Thank you for the good work you all do, keep up and expand the work and reduce the suffering of the people and save our planet from environmental disasters. We all have a long way ahead of us and we need to stand united to save humanity. It is very important for the students to apply their knowledge in their daily life and teach others to apply the principle of human rights in every step of their lives. They are the owner and the future leader of this planet. I wish everyone and each of them a very successful future.

For more information contact our Press Office

Elisa Aquino – Giulia Ballarin – Andrea Cammarata

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