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Samoa shines in global poster competition

Graphic: The winning entry from Alexandria Slaven

An 11-year old girl from Samoa has taken first prize in a global UN-sponsored poster competition.

Alexandria Slaven, an 11 year old girl from Samoa, has won a global poster competition organised by the UN Human Rights Office.

Children around the world were invited to submit an illustration that shows what freedom means to them, as part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the two core human rights treaties: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Alexandria's poster – which took first place in the 5-11 age category – depicts people holding hands and standing by a luxuriant coconut tree.

"My poster illustrates how freedom comes with responsibilities and children and adults should understand this," Alexandria wrote to explain the design. "The growing coconut tree with various rights and freedoms written on it symbolizes the growth of a person."

The competition was run locally by the Office of the Ombudsman/National Human Rights Institution – in partnership with UN Human Rights Pacific, UNDP and SSAB-Pago – as part of its 2015 Human Rights Day activities.

"It is really exciting for Samoa to come out on top in this competition," said Samoa's Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma. "It shows to the world that our young people have a very clear understanding of human rights."

"If we all adopted Alexandria's perception on human rights, we would be able to better understand the value of human rights and apply it to our everyday lives."

Samoa acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in February 2008, the Ombudsman noted.

APF secretariat Director Kieren Fitzpatrick congratulated Ms Slaven on her success and Samoa's NHRI for engaging young people in a creative discussion about human rights and freedoms.

Eiza Abid, 15, from Pakistan won the 12-18 age category for his representation of freedom of thought.

All the winning poster entries can be viewed at: http://2covenants.ohchr.org/poster-gallery.html

For the Covenants to continue to have meaning over the next 50 years, children must be aware of their rights and the importance of the Covenants to their lives and happiness.

UN human rights treaty bodies Logo Fabian Salvioli, Chairperson, UN Human Rights Committee

Image credits

  1. The winning entry from Alexandria Slaven - Office of the Ombudsman of Samoa