Human Rights Day Essay Contest

The Catawba Valley Interfaith Council invites high school students from the Catawba Valley area to submit an original essay responding to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it means to them. Cash prizes will be given to the top three essays selected ($200 for 1st prize, $100 for 2nd prize and $50 for 3rd prize). Winners will read their essays as part of the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council’s celebration of Human Rights Day which will be held at Lenoir Rhyne University’s Grace Chapel on Monday, December 10th at 7pm.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

For this year’s 70th anniversary, the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council is highlighting Article 26 which declares everyone has the right to an education.

o Work must be original and provide citations using a generally recognized format such as MLA
o Word count of 700-1,000 words
o Electronic submission of essay in .pdf format to with “essay” as the subject
o Deadline for submissions is October 10th, 2018 at midnight
o Student must be available to participate in the December 10th celebration of International Human Rights
o Creativity is encouraged as long as it lends itself to oral presentation
o Submissions must include a cover page with the following details: student’s name, name and email of English teacher, name of school (home schoolers are also welcome to participate), student’s contact information (including phone number), age, and essay word count
o Winners will be notified by Nov 20th

NOTE: Submissions that do not follow the instructions will not be reviewed or considered.
Article 26 of the UDHR
1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

For additional information about CVIC or their HRD essay contest, email us at

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