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First Year Connections Students Visit Human Rights Watch and NYC Public Library

On Friday, October 6th, Dr. Jensen’s First Year Connection course, Child Labor in the World Today, took a field trip to Manhattan! The trip started at the Empire State Building, where Human Rights Watch is headquartered, and the class met up with Jo Becker, the advocacy director of the Children’s Rights Division of HRW. Becker started with explaining that HRW is a nonprofit NGO responsible for investigating human rights abuses worldwide, exposing the facts about these abuses, and pressuring proper channels to improve the situation. This organization often works with the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union, along with other governments and corporations. Some people employed with HRW focus on the human rights abuses in a particular country or region of the world, while others focus on a specific issue that is present in multiple areas. Becker, for example, told the students that her focus has been on child soldiers, children working in gold mining, and child domestic workers. She has conducted field work in numerous countries, such as Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and Uganda, to name a few! She has been instrumental in creating an international treaty banning forced recruitment of children under 18 and their involvement in armed conflict. Also, through publishing reports and developing policies to enforce children’s rights she has been pressuring corporations to not source their goods from employers of children under the minimum age in each country, and to improve treatment of child employees.

After walking to Till & Sprocket for lunch, the next stop on this field trip was the New York Public Library, where Dr. Bailin gave the students a tour. He emphasized that it is more than just a library, with many instances of incredible architecture and paintings that gave it the atmosphere of an art museum. The students were especially interested in the map room, and spent some time locating countries on the giant globes, and comparing the countries and cities where they have lived or visited. Overall, the trip was very fun and very informative—thank you to Dr. Jensen and Dr. Bailin for organizing it!

first_year_connections_trip_human_rights_watch

View additional photos from the trip on our Flickr page.