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ISKL High School Students Learning About Forced Migration and Human Rights Firsthand

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Oct 09, 2018, 01:09 AM

In keeping with The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) vision and mission to challenge students to become well-informed socially responsible global citizens, the High School Social Studies department recently hosted a panel discussion on forced migration and human rights. Panellists included representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), people who have left their country of origin due to war or safety issues, speakers from marginalized communities here in Kuala Lumpur and some faculty and staff from ISKL.

 

Guest speakers recounted their stories and shared their perspectives, ones rarely heard firsthand. There were stories of kidnap and interrogation, government abuse and human trafficking. Interspersed were stories of hope, glimpses of a different life, acceptance and determination. Some have been incredibly successful, after having left their countries of origin many years ago, some are still trying to put the pieces together but do so with optimism and a sense of hope for the future. At the end of one of the discussions, Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya refugee and staunch advocate for change stated, “we are seeking justice and a solution, not just money and donations.”

By participating in the panel discussion, HS students were able to reconcile what they’ve heard and read about on the news with real people; people who might live nearby but with lives that are vastly different to their own, and other adults they see every day at school. Students listened to stories that were heartbreaking and, on occasion, gruesome. Conversely, they also remarked on the similarities between themselves and the younger refugees, especially with regard to music, pop culture, etc. All in all, the experience had a profound impact on everyone involved. 

The panel illustrated the immense struggles some people have faced on their journey to Malaysia. But it also served to show just how many people in the ISKL community, and throughout Kuala Lumpur, are working hard to helping provide the needs of forced migrants and more stable, safe and secure.

At ISKL, we work to challenge and inspire our students, and encourage them to embody core values based on respect, accountability, and an appreciation of diversity.

Visit www.iskl.edu.my for more information.

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