Essex hosts Chalking of the Steps ahead of Human Rights Day

  • Date

    Fri 9 Dec 22

A student taking part in Chalking of the Steps 2022

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been chalked across steps at the University of Essex during a special ceremony.

The Chalking of the Steps took place today (9 December 2022) ahead of Human Rights Day on Saturday and coincided with the 40th anniversary of Essex’s Human Rights Centre.

Members of the Human Rights Society inscribed the 30 articles from the declaration onto the steps between Squares 3 and 4 on the Colchester Campus, while President Casiana Lupu and Human Rights Centre Director, Dr Andrew Fagan, made short speeches.

Each article was written in chalk to symbolise the vulnerability of human rights, with the fading of the chalk acting as a reminder of the importance of protecting universal human rights.

Students were invited to write the articles in a variety of languages to symbolise their importance around the world.

Members of the Human Rights Society sat on the newly chalked steps

The Chalking of the Steps takes place each year at the University to act as a display of commitment from a new group of students to upholding human rights.

Dr Fagan said: “Despite it being one of the coldest mornings of this winter, our human rights students and staff came out in force again this year to participate in our iconic Chalking of the Steps.

“Undertaken every year since 2008, the chalking of the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon a key university landmark testifies to this university's continuing commitment to human rights and underlines our reputation as the home of human rights.”

A student chalking the steps on the Colchester campus

The Chalking of the Steps formed part of Human Rights Week at Essex, with other events held including a talk on a mission to educate and equip people between the ages of 8-21 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the UK.

The Human Rights Centre plans to host a series of special events to celebrate its 40th anniversary, including an alumni event in Geneva next spring and a two-day conference in the UK in the summer.

Members of the Human Rights Centre at the Colchester campus