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EDITO R Charlotte Colombo DEPUTY EDITOR Megan Crossman H EAD O F PRI NT DES I G N Sop hie Pea ch H EAD O F I MAGERY N ina Panno ne WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER K ayleigh Littlemo re HEAD OF OUTREACH Simran Mann H EAD O F EVENTS Nathaniel Oluwadamilola Ogunniyi SUB-EDITORS Joanna Magil Gaby PulestonVaudrey Jordan Truong FE ATURES EDITO R B e t h A blett CREATIVE WRITING EX E CUTIVE T illy Ro ber ts OPINI O N EDI TO R Linnea Lagerstedt POLITICS EDITO R Patrick Lowe SCIENCE & TECH EDITOR Lea S o ler LIFESTYLE EDI TO R Marco Preta ra lifestyle@wessex sce ne .c o .uk IN T ERNA TIO NAL E D I TO R H e n ry S ha h T RAVEL EDI TO R Hazel Jonckers SPOR TS EDITO R Luke Ebbs PAU SE EDITO R Tom Ford N EWS & INVESTIGA TI O N S news/investigations@

Kenny Field

Ben Dolbear

Imy Brighty-Potts

FIFTY-ONE YEARS LATER: SO MUCH ACHIEVED SO, SO MUCH MORE TO DO. .“No matter what race we are, what ethnic background, sexual orientation, or what views we may have, we are all human. Unfortunately, not all humans see it that way.” ― Erin Gruwell Human rights. They might be two simple words, but they hold more power than any weapon, war or authority. These three mere syllables are, more often than not, humanity’s final - and most vital - line of defence. There’s so much riding on the phrase, and so many different angles, aspects and applications, how can we even begin to put it into words? More to the point, how can we even hope to summarise and do it appropriate justice in just thirty-six pages? Some might say that this magazine is a further example of naïve, idealistic students who live in a little bubble and have no idea about the real world. Who are we to tackle such a complex topic? Sure, we might not be the United Nations, but we do have something in common with them. With everyone. What we all share is that same level of humanity. It’s clear to see that we all have the same basic desires like food, shelter and social interaction. We are all human beings, and are all entitled to the same basic rights. It really is that simple. In this magazine, our writers explore a vast range of issues relating to human rights. Amongst other things, we look at the right to freedom of expression (p.7); how our favourite brands might be complicit in human rights abuse (p.25); the problem of modern slavery in the salon industry (p.20) and even explore the difficult relationship between counter-terrorism techniques and human rights (p.13). Evidently, what these articles show is that human rights is our past, present and future. Whilst it is reassuring to look back on past events and be thankful that they aren’t occurring on our front lawn anymore, it is clear that the abuse of people’s basic human rights is happening all over the world, every single day, to millions of people. What we should do is ask ourselves two key questions. Firstly, why aren’t the mass media reporting on the scale of the problem? Secondly, what can I do to help? Ultimately, we can’t forget how fortunate we are to be in a position where we can present our views on this matter without any fear or restriction. We are extraordinary lucky to be able to practise our right to freedom of expression without hesitation. At this point, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are not yet ‘universal’. I truly hope that in our lifetime it will be, and I strongly believe that raising awareness of the issue is the first step in making that happen.

Your editor,

CHARLOTTE COLOMBO Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this magazine belong to each author alone - Wessex Scene is a neutral publication which aims to publish views from across the student body. To respond with an opposing opinion, please contact or join our Opinion Writers’ Group. FRONT COVER IMAGE BY Chloe Withers

















F B . C OM / W S C E N E @OF F IC IAL W E S S E X S C E N E 3


Women’s Violation, The Right To Our Autonomy and Becoming Less Blinded By The Pink You would hope that by 2019, the issues regarding human

There is a certain impossibility in trying to pin down

rights that people fought to destroy wouldn’t still pervade

when sexism was first evident in my life, and I couldn’t

our society; but, much that dominates the news and

even say when I first noticed it. All I am reminded of is

social conversation still centres around a lack of rights

sitting in a French class learning grammar, where my

affecting many around the world. Many are shunned due

teacher informed us that the best way to remember

to a disregard for multiple different human rights, but

that ‘kitchen’ holds a feminine preposition is because

the violation that I and so many others in today’s society

‘women belong in the kitchen’. Cue retrospective

experience is directly related to my sex and gender identity.

shock. At the time, I wasn’t surprised, making clear to me how ingrained sexism was as part of my

Sexism, in its many forms, is something that we should

understanding of the world and the place of a woman.

have left in history; but it still appears at the forefront of women’s lives, despite many in history fighting for basic

Sexism towards women is present in a multitude of ways,

rights as well as their own autonomy.

but lucky for me I can count my experiences on one hand. What is most prominent in my life, at this current moment,

I think back to 1903 and the formation of the suffrage

is the unwanted attention and abuse from strangers in

movement that fought for the right for women to vote,

public; I recall the cat calling, shouting, leering, unsightly

marking the start of what would later be referred to as the

gestures, and the more serious side of all of this, assault.

first wave of feminism. I have experienced all of these at one point or another In gaining the right to vote, women were given a voice to exercise in order to make themselves heard and claim what seems to be the most basic of human rights: equality and freedom of speech. Feminism as a movement has made waves since 1903 in an effort to further the rights of women and gain the same privileges as men so that we may become equal to - not better than - them. However, whilst this isn’t an exploration into feminism, the rights of women are inextricably linked to feminism as a movement and the feminist ideology. Had I been born a man, I would not experience half of the violations that I do on an almost daily basis. It’s true that there may be other sources of ridicule used to degrade others’ human rights but those that defile a woman, and that I have experienced, can be attributed to none other than my sex and gender identity. 4


FEATURES in my life, and although one could say the same abuse think that plays any role, and focus on the fact that because can happen to anyone, I fear that that assertion only of my sex I am viewed as passive, vulnerable, powerless, makes reductive mine and others’ encounters of sexism. and therefore at risk of such violation. Cat-calling permeates the society I live in, where women (generally) are the victims in everyday mundane situations; What I take issue with is that I played into this view of there is no link to the clothes they wear, what they are doing, my sex by not knowing what to do, in becoming passive or even their age. However, a new breed of cat-calling has and letting it happen for fear and lack of understanding sprung forth: the silent, less obvious version that is more about what I could do. So, how do we combat this? threatening and invasive. No one should be violated because of their sex, but I have There’s huge debate over whether or not we should be less no idea as to the right way to go about stopping this. Maybe offended by the loud-mouthed cat-calling we receive as, after we shout back when we are called at instead of smiling all, shouldn’t we take it as a compliment? I completely disagree passively with our head down. with this notion, but it is harder to argue over this new, ‘silentbut-deadly’, type of attention as it comes down to perspective. Maybe we change the social thinking of what it means to be a woman -something already happening with the growing A discrepancy in perspective became apparent to me when feminism movement and helped with increased support. walking with my male friend. We both noticed a man in his Perhaps education is needed for women to learn what to do car signal someone across the road; he saw the man as just in the event of extreme violation because, after all, educating gesturing the woman across, whereas I saw the same man people that assault is bad won’t help if that’s their goal. gawking at this woman, winking, and staring as she walked off with that infamous and indescribable ‘laddish’ smirk.

It’s hard to know what to do and how to maintain women’s human rights. I pin that pessimism to the fact that no

But why did we notice two completely different behaviours? matter how many people say we have equality between the Perhaps because of my experience of the later and seeing it sexes, we definitely don’t. Many are still walking around happen to multiple women around me every day, and his blind to the injustices women face and selfishly think it is lack thereof? Or am I imagining it?

an issue left in the past. It is present, it has always been present, and unless we use our voice and our actions to





is it’s

responsible silent,



this is


damaging fight for it, we might as well chain ourselves to the AGA. obvious

evidence of it happening, and the interpretation of it is subjective. It takes away the conviction of women to say something has happened and diminishes our experience of human rights violation down to heresy.


In addition to this, there is a more sinister side of violation which I feel happens as a result of my sex: assault. I have been assaulted twice in my life, both at different ages (13 and 18), both by men that were much older than myself, both with physical abilities that could overpower me. I disregard what I was wearing and my age, because I don’t




VOLUNTEERING F O R OX FA M Poverty is one of the fundamental issues which prevents many people from accessing what they need to fulfill their basic human rights - whether that be food, water, shelter or education. The charity Oxfam work around the world to combat this, and consequently improve people’s rights as a result, meaning their work could not be more important.

If you’re now convinced, being a steward is really straightforward - you don’t need to have any experience, and places are simply first come first served. If the idea of attending festivals sounds great, but stewarding doesn’t appeal to you, there are also roles available as campaigners and Oxfam festival shop volunteers, although these have different requirements.

However, volunteering for such an important cause need not be as serious - by joining the Oxfam Festivals team, you can spend your summer at an amazing range of festivals whilst raising funds and awareness for Oxfam, meeting new people, and even gaining experience to put on your CV.

Volunteering with Oxfam Festivals the summer before uni was absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to go back in future years, and hope to see some of you in the Oxfield in summer 2020! For more information on how to get involved, visit

I first volunteered in 2017 at Camp Bestival as a steward with a friend, and I can’t recommend it enough. As a steward, you interact with the public, helping them out with any enquiries or concerns they may have and keeping them safe. We did three 8 hour shifts throughout the festival, but otherwise the time was ours to explore and enjoy everything that was going on. We also spent a lot of our time in the Oxfam marquee chatting to other volunteers, who were all so lovely they convinced me to volunteer at Reading that summer with them too. I’m not a camping fan by any means, but as a volunteer you get a little more of an upgraded experience - from access to the Oxfam marquee, which has hot water and phone charging, to the meal tokens you get, to the amazing staff boat at Reading (which takes you down to the main arena every day from staff camping), you definitely get some great extras. Importantly, stewarding at all of the festivals they work at is free - you pay a deposit which covers the price of a ticket at the most expensive festival you sign up for, but this is returned after the festival - meaning if you can’t afford lots of festival tickets, this is the perfect way to fill your summer whilst getting to feel good about it at the same time. 





WHY FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME The right to freedom of expression is vitally important to me and my well-being because otherwise, it is all too easy for my needs to be forgotten or ignored, especially where people don’t fit the ‘norm’. As a person with an invisible disability, it’s really hard to overcome society’s in-built ideas of what my place is.

fear of major consequences, and that’s something that I do not take for granted. It’s especially important that those from underrepresented groups feel empowered to share their stories and opinions. This is an important way of finding yourself and your identity in an increasingly stressful world.

Similarly, internalised ableism can mean that lots of people struggle to value their own opinions enough to share and be proud of them. Getting involved in a community who are open to sharing opinions can help you to overcome this, and it’s really empowering. It’s so wholesome to be able to share your opinions with people that know they won’t always understand. To have your voice heard and actually respected is so life-affirming.

But, in order for this to happen, there must be a societal trend of non-judgement and respect for others, no matter how they identify or what they believe in. This trend is already in motion among some sub-groups in society, where you can safely talk about the personal characteristics that make you you. We as students are perfectly placed to take advantage of this trend and push it further - reach out to people and let them know you’re a safe person to talk to. Join local groups and societies As per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of so that you can find people to share your ideas with Persons with Disabilities, I face double discrimination as and be comfortable expressing yourself. Don’t let these a female with a disability. This means that, if the UK ever opportunities to find yourself disappear. brings this Convention into domestic law, I, and others like me, will essentially be doubly protected against If you don’t know what your human rights are, go read a threats to my human rights. This is so that those who are summary of the Human Rights Act 1998 or the European more susceptible to discrimination can be free to continue Convention on Human Rights. You might even be to express themselves, so that their voices are not lost. surprised by what’s in there and what isn’t. But most of This extra protection is important to get one step closer to all, educate yourself so you know where you stand on achieving equity in society. freedom of expression. Equality can be seen as things being made the same for people regardless of situation. Equity can be seen as barriers being removed so that everyone can access the same rights/experiences etc.


Rights to freedom of expression or freedom of speech allow people from all sectors of society to be themselves, which is extremely integral for individual well-being. However, I do think that rights to express yourself should be qualified i.e. if your opinion/action actively hurts someone or discriminates against someone then you should lose your right to express that opinion freely. If these rights were unqualified, hurtful and discriminatory practices would be allowed to continue for the sheer stubbornness of upholding human rights above all else. This cannot realistically happen. There needs to be balance across individuals’ rights so that our society is as fair and equal as it can be. Living in an open society like this, I am able to write about how important this human right is to me without HUMAN RIGHTS



Is the UK Ready to Face Brexit’s Hazards to Human Rights? Whether Brexit is indeed going to be delivered in three months, one year, or never at all, we should all keep a look out to ensure that legislation will be drafted to ensure a smooth continuity of the human rights of UK and EU citizens. I would like to focus, for instance, on Article 22 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and childcare, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old’. Even if it is still debated whether the Declaration has legal value at international law, I think we can all recognise it as a guide for domestic law. Let’s start with education rights: after Brexit, education prices will be higher for EU students, as they will no longer have the opportunity to pay the same fees as national students. But fees will also increase for UK students considering that if an agreement is not reached, UK universities will lose £1.1 billion in research grants from the European Union.

will no longer be sufficient proof of the right to work or to visit a family member in the UK, and visa permits will be required according to a new immigration system. As before, much depends on the agreements that will be drafted during the next year. Just looking at even one of the 30 human rights recognised by the United Nations, we understand that with Brexit, both EU and UK nationals will lose many of the benefits and simplifications that are in place today within the EU. Thinking about the possible replacements and the necessary legislation to ensure a smooth transition is not simple and lawmakers are (or should be) better prepared than us to do so. Nonetheless, it is our right and duty as citizens to keep our attention focused on these problems in order to hold our local MPs and our government accountable of their decision.


What about access to health care? Today, UK citizens can visit any EU country relying on the fact that they will receive the same treatment, on the same terms, as the citizens of the country they are visiting. What will happen after Brexit is not yet known, because Boris Johnson’s revised withdrawal agreement sets out a transitional period till the end of 2020 to negotiate in detail the terms with the EU. In case of no agreement, the Admiral travel insurance estimated that health costs for UK citizens travelling in Europe will increase as far as 90%. Furthermore, it is still unclear how the government will face the incoming shortage of drugs: on the first week of October, the UK government signed deals worth £86.6 million with shipping companies to ensure supply of vital medications. A final example is the right to work. The system and agreements in place today with the EU will be kept until the end of 2020. After the transitional period, an EU passport




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Snowflakes and Side-eyes: Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Trans Rights This piece will begin, uncharacteristically, with an apology. To the old man in the cinema who thought it necessary to shout at me for using the disabled toilet, I am sorry. I’m sorry you felt the need to tell me you hoped one day I would ‘get into a state’ where I would actually need to use it, and that I should be ashamed of myself. I’m sorry you lack the insight to consider that it might have been far more pleasurable for everyone to mind your own business.

an anti-trans hate group which split from Stonewall (declaring that the organisation has ‘sold out lesbians and gays’), serves to highlight the necessity for further and more vocal support of the transgender community. The organisation claims to be against ‘gender extremism’; a term we can assume refers to the desire to have trans children properly educated and given the support that would prevent lasting traumatic mental health issues.

Like many other trans people, I would have much preferred to just use the bathroom in peace. I would have loved to have just breezed into the men’s as I am, thankfully, often lucky enough to do, and left without worrying about anything other than how they were going to return to the Zombieland universe ten years later. However, I didn’t. I used the disabled toilet, briefly inconveniencing you for roughly half a minute (you weren’t there when I went in) and escaping the ugly furrowed brow of the large man who seemed to pause as we both headed in the same direction, and look me up and down with a suspicious glare. I do really apologise for whatever you felt the need to shout at me for. But I wasn’t assaulted, so honestly I’m counting it as a win.

The concept of trans people preying on young people is not a new phenomenon, nor is it original. It was not long ago that gay people were synonymous with pedophiles, perverts, and predators intent on leading astray the innocent heterosexual youth. Sharing a bathroom or changing room with a gay person was unthinkable, and many members of the queer community will not be unfamiliar with having been told that their identities are a phase they will grow out of, and that if it weren’t for their friends, they may not have considered this ‘lifestyle’ at all.

I relay this comparatively tepid tale of casual transphobia for a number of reasons. Firstly, in a society which has seen a 37% rise in transphobic hate crimes in this year alone, I thought it would be a breath of fresh air for people like me to read something which didn’t end with one of us beaten or spat on or murdered. Indeed, although the progress made in the past few years to acknowledge and bring attention to the existence of trans people and our right to exist as our authentic selves is not lost on us, there is an undeniable atmosphere of hostility which does not yet show signs of decreasing. Notably, the recent development of the ‘LGB Alliance’,


Of course, many people nowadays would consider this ridiculous. Teaching children about the existence of queer people is far less dangerous than letting them believe that they are broken or different, and people in public bathrooms really aren’t concerned with anything other than getting out of there as quickly as possible. This rhetoric has instead been rebranded for a new scapegoat; one who’s vulnerability makes it all too easy to alienate from the rest of the community and wider mainstream society as a whole. Trans exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) and transphobic sentiment serves only to promote white, Western standards of gender and beauty. With womanhood being defined by a very specific set of codes and conventions, even cis women have found themselves attacked and accosted for not conforming to the concept of a ‘real’ woman. Body hair and prominent facial features are criticised for being



unfeminine, outlining clearly racist undertones of TERF ideology. In short, transphobia is nothing more than bigotry rebranded for a new audience; it pretends to be politically correct by labelling us as aggressive predators, oversensitive and intent on forcing identity on innocent queer youth.

discussing overall human rights issues.

It is quite clear that these people are unwilling to converse and change their opinion by learning more about our (quite frankly beautiful) community, about the joy and sense of safety that comes with finding out that you are not alone, and that there are ways to feel more at peace with yourself.

Only by listening and learning can we offer support for every member of society, regardless of identity.

By seeing transphobia for what it truly is and vocally refusing to accept it, we are one step closer to feeling safe amongst our peers once and for all.


In the face of such an unrelenting wall of hatred and bigotry, it is important for one of the most vulnerable demographics to hear from you - cis people. It can often feel as though, at an administrative level, we are nothing more than inconveniences that will one day be ‘hate-crimed’ out of existence, and that we are to be tolerated until that day. It is vital to refuse to stop talking about trans people when







PATRIOT ACTS AND SNOOPERS CHARTERS: COUNTER-TERRORISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS The first duty of a government is to defend its people. If a government cannot do this, its legitimacy becomes suspect and it can be replaced with another more suited to the task. Therefore, it must do all it can to that end. These assumptions have long underpinned much of our public discourse regarding terrorism. To a certain extent, they are sensible. Terrorists seek to undermine the legitimacy of governments by proving that they cannot protect their stakeholders. If the government cannot guarantee the safety of a concert or the streets of the capital, this undermines their ability to defend their citizens. Therefore, a preventative counterterrorism strategy that embraces multiple angles of attack against terrorists seems in the best interests of both the threatened populace and the government. One gains security, the other gains legitimacy. There is, however, a downside to this. As well as having a right to be protected by the state, citizens have a right to be protected from the state, as per Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, contingent on national security and public safety. Yet, the ‘angles of attack’ that counterterrorism practitioners often employ include use of mass internet surveillance to collect what was known under the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) of 2016 as Bulk Personal Datasets (BPDs). BPDs include substantial amounts of personal data from a wide swathe of sources, including from those not considered a threat or criminal suspects. The defence for this offered by the intelligence services (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ) to the review by David Anderson QC, was that a greater amount of data made identifying threats easier. This works in much the same way that Google collects more data to improve the usefulness of their search results. However, government agencies conducting surveillance on innocent citizens could be seen as problematic for their right to privacy.  Furthermore, the issue of warrants for BPDs is sealed by the classified nature of intelligence operations, offering no opportunity for public scrutiny or awareness of who is being watched and what information is collected.

Yet sweeping powers and policies have problems. Perceptions of authoritarianism may provide propaganda material for extremism. In the case of Shamima Begum, the teenage Daesh recruit, the government stripped her of her citizenship in February of this year. Yet counterterrorism experts, such as Dr Chris Fuller of the University of Southampton, have claimed that this is, in fact, goes ‘too far’. Such an action, he claims, ‘feeds into far-right narratives of belonging’ and is a short-sighted policy. This is not a far-fetched argument. The UK counterterrorism chief, Neil Basu, reported in September that the far right is the fastest-growing extremist threat the country faces. Concerns have been raised about the potential radicalisation of others by returning extremist fighters. Sajid Javid defended the decision with a statement that he ‘would not shy away from using [this power] to protect this country’. But Bangladesh, the other nation for which Begum might have had citizenship, denied any responsibility. This makes her stateless, which is illegal under international law, and places her at real risk of abuse or further criminality. Furthermore, her status as a radicalised minor makes her a victim of child abuse, as per NSPCC guidelines, while the crimes she may have committed could have been tried in British courts subject to the ECHR. Furthermore, stripping terrorists of their citizenship sets a precedent that could be used for other crimes. Terrorism is a complex and evolving problem of real political gravity. Yet human rights were always envisioned as constants, and a world in which they are disregarded in the name of security could be a dark one.


There is no doubting the stakes are high for governments.




Suffrage: Right or Privilege? Article 3 of the Human Rights Act (1998) enforces our right to a ‘free election’. It sets out clear criteria of what makes an election ‘free’. One of those criteria is to ensure that everyone can take part, whether that be as a candidate or a voter. One might also argue that the right to universal suffrage is covered under other basic entitlements set out in the Human Rights Act, with some examples including Freedom of Assembly (Article 10) and Freedom of Speech (Article 11). Evidently, there is a clear and constantly reinforced precedent which suggests that each and every person has a right to vote. The Human Rights Act certainly has no mention of voting being a ‘privilege’, so why is it a notion that is still questioned today? Consequently, with this legally-binding history around voting rights, it is both puzzling and deeply troubling that we live in a society where suffrage is treated as a privilege rather than a right. At least, that is something we can assume to be the case if recent events and evidence is anything to go by. Not only are voting rights of certain groups (such as those incarcerated) regularly debated, but this supposed fundamental right is downright denied to other groups. For example, in the run-up to the most recent General Election, the debate has once again ignited around the voting rights of 16-year-olds and EU nationals. Although an amendment was put forward to allow these two groups to vote in the 2019 General Election

Bill, it wasn’t selected following Boris Johnson’s threats that he would cancel the election. Although he gave a convoluted response related to timings as a reason for this, it is strange that it took until now for people to notice how these two groups were isolated from a supposedly ‘universal’ human right. What makes them different to everyone else? Why are they not worthy of the vote? Furthermore, there is reasonable evidence to suggest that, for whatever reason, action is being taken by the state to repress the student vote. In an investigation conducted by The Times in September, Boris Johnson’s aides privately admitted that an October election date was tactically chosen in order to restrict student turnout. Although they aren’t denying students the right to vote, this is an attempt to interfere with that right and restrict them from practising it. Now, I am no Government official and am certainly no lawyer, but it logically follows that if one’s right to vote is denied or interfered with, then surely they are in violation of Articles 13, 11 and 10 of the Human Rights Act. The simple fact is that the state, in doing this, is breaking the law. Yet, I see no outcry, no consequences and no attempt to fight this. The simple fact is that by doing this, the Government are breaking the law. So where are those ever-fabled checks and balances? Does the law not apply to those in power? The reason why it is so important for us to stand up and raise awareness of this malpractice is that it takes all of us down a dark and dangerous road that has severe implications on our freedom and liberty. Of course, you might think that there are reasonable explanations behind these restrictions and repressions that make it not a legal violation. Or, you might that since you are fortunate enough to have this right to vote, it doesn’t matter. But look at it this way - without universal suffrage, we are all at risk of losing this vital human right. If they can restrict or refuse the vote for certain groups now, what makes you think they won’t restrict yours later? If the place we call home doesn’t fight for our basic human rights, who will? It shouldn’t have to, but if we can’t rely on our Government, it comes down to us. We need to act now and hold them to account. Our future depends on it.





The Human Rights Abuses of the British Empire

When the topic of human rights arises, the atrocities of the British Empire have historically gone unnoticed due to a lack of information. However, research conducted by Caroline Elkins, Madhursee Mukherjee and other historians, has uncovered some of the appalling human rights abuses committed by the British Empire. In this article, I will focus upon the Kenyan Mau Mau Uprising and the famine in Bengal, India. Mau Mau Uprising, Kenya - (1952-1960) In 1920, the British Empire moved into East Africa, with Kenya declared a colony. After 30 years of British rule, the country’s largest ethnic group – the Kikuyu –opposed colonial rule through the creation of the ‘Mau Mau movement’, which turned into a rebellion. In response, the Kenyan colonial government declared a state of emergency in 1952 for 8 years. The government forcibly removed 1.5 million Kenyans from their homes to detention camps or ‘protected villages’, claiming that they were supporters of the movement. Residents were subjected to forced labour, systematic torture, sexual assault, starvation, and murder. Historians have oral records of survivors explaining their experience of the government’s human rights violations in these camps: A man, now 83, suffered regular torture including a punishment which involved being made to dig a hole with his index finger by constantly turning his crouched body in a circle, causing dizziness punished by further beatings. A woman, now 76, details how as a 14-year-old girl she and her family were brutalised during a raid by colonial police before two white soldiers forced her to have sex with her own father while they looked on. These survivors later placed a case against the British Government in which they sought compensation not only for the brutal acts, but also the loss of family life, education and income caused by the relocation. What is inexcusable is that the Empire at the time was fully aware of these detention centres but took no action against them. In


2016, the British Government paid the survivors £20 million in compensation, with the acknowledgement from the Foreign Office that the accounts and claims were true. Bengal Famine, India - (1943) While Bengal suffered from famines following the British Empire’s invasion of India, the worst of these famines regarding human rights abuse - was in 1943. The famine led to 3 million deaths, with the few who survived eating grass or human flesh. Between January and July 1943, India was exporting more than 70,000 tonnes of rice for British consumption or war aid even during the height of the famine. When Churchill was asked to export food to India, it was claimed that there was a shortage of ships despite Australian wheat being delivered to Europe while passing Indian borders. Additionally, authorities destroyed rice stocks and removed boats from Bengal due to a fear of Japanese invasion. During the autumn of that year, the stockpile of the British Empire’s food for its population of 47 million (14 million fewer than Bengal) amounted to 18.5 million tonnes. Despite this stockpile, the famine only ended at the end of the year after survivors harvested rice and Canadian shipments of wheat and barely reached India. By that time, tens of thousands had already died from starvation. These are not the only atrocities committed by the British Empire. Other examples include the Boer concentration camps in South Africa, where women and children died from disease and scarcity of food. 1000 peaceful protesters were killed by Reginald Dyer and his men during the Amritsar Massacre. During the 1960s, nationalists in Yemen were kept naked in refrigerated cells in torture centres in Aden. Finally, Aboriginal and Indigenous people in Australia were systematically killed.




How Tech and Data are Tools for Undermining Migrants’ Rights

The UK Home Office and international border enforcement are utilising technological advancements, and this is causing repercussions for migrants and asylum seekers as well as our data security. One article is not enough to unpack the complexities of the Hostile Environment policy, but I bet there’s one thing you’ve never considered… the Home Office uses a web of data-sharing to target migrants. And border enforcement across the globe are using data abuses to erode rights at borders. That may seem like a dystopian Sci-Fi YA novel, but sadly it’s not Katniss we need to be concerned for, it’s our human rights and digital freedom. Part of the Hostile Environment is an interconnected web of secret data-sharing agreements with different and separate governmental departments and nongovernmental public bodies with the aims of creating a sinister-sounding migrant database; and the consequences of this entanglement can be devastating state violence. The Home Office has such agreements 16

with the police, NHS, job centres and employers, banks, landlords, schools and universities and even charities like Thames Reach and St Mungo’s - who provide beds and support to rough sleepers! St Mungo’s had to issue an apology for handing over personal information and locations of homeless people to the Home Office, and a court ruled that the Government was to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds after illegally detaining and deporting homeless EU nationals. This is but one example of how dangerous this practice by our Government can be. Yet, it goes further… It prevents migrants from using a range of public services and ruins day-to-day life. Imagine being so terrified of governmental authorities that you are prevented from applying for legal jobs; renting or owning legal housing; reporting crimes to police as a witness or victim; sending your children to school or giving schools your children’s full details and subsequent denial of free-school meals; not attending a certain amount of university lectures regardless of personal circumstances; or receiving urgent medical attention HUMAN RIGHTS

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY from public healthcare services (and in the other direction, the two-way agreement allows the NHS to check if they can charge the person the immigration health surcharge for use of England’s world-renowned ‘universal healthcare’) at the risk of deportation and/ or criminalisation. Frankly, the Home Office has turned us - the public servants, teachers, lecturers, doctors, nurses, landlords, employers, outreach officers and charity workers - into unwilling, and sometimes even unknowing, border guards through these information exchange channels. These practices overrule data protection obligations and these departments such as Department for Education, Health and Social Care, Work and Pensions, have no obligation to report individuals’ data to the Home Office. NHS Digital was lobbied into truncating it’s agreement to trace undocumented people, however, it has so far failed to fulfil this commitment. Worse yet, it’s not just our government that is using data against migrants, this is becoming commonplace across the globe. Tech that enables illicit and fast data extraction of mobile phones use increasingly being used to process and reject asylum seekers’ applications to entry (more and more) quickly. Europe, and regions across the globe, conduct digital strip searching and mobile forensics to deport digitally-vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The UK and Norway have had these powers of intrusion for years to decrease immigration numbers, but Germany, Denmark and more recently Austria have adopted similar legislation. Denmark have went even further by delving into social media and requesting individuals’ Facebook passwords.  But what does that mean? One digital forensics company is Munich-based T3KForensics, which is at work at the Germany-Austria border alongside authorities and universities. Another is Israeli surveillance company Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization, which markets technology for authorities to carry out ‘digital forensics’, which means that bypassing the passwords on a personal device is not only possible, but opens the door to quickly extract, analyse, and visualise sensitive data. In fact, their own website states that their technology will ‘keep you more than one step ahead’.

as possible to reduce intake. But if each person is innocent, their request of entry surely couldn’t be refused right? Migration in today’s world has demonstrated how integral technology has become. Migrants use their mobile phones to search migration routes; keep up to date with potential hazards, obstructions, border closures, policy changes and re-routes; text and WhatsApp and instant message family, friends and contacts, and dangerous smugglers and scammers, and advice to avoid police patrols that would send you back to danger, as well as information about accessing vital services when they arrive in a safe country. Border agents can refuse entry if they suspect ‘traces of illicit activity’ which is almost impossible to circumvent a criteria that includes photos, private messages, associations on social media, location history to ‘dangerous’ places, backed-up cloud data and metadata. My own personal profile picture would likely be reason enough for border enforcement to deny my entry if I were a migrant. When your application to cross a border depends on handing over your phone, it is arguable as to whether the ‘consent’ is really consent at all. The invasive scope of the process strips the people who are seeking safety of their right to privacy, freedom of expression and political opinions, and even dignity. The Home Office Immigration Enforcement authority made a payment of £45,000 to Cellebrite in May 2018. Our governments are using migrants, refugees and asylum seekers as guinea pigs to test the boundaries of surveillance on their quest of invasion into our data and keeping immigration numbers to a minimum. A new industry of digital weapons is growing. With the political climate becoming increasingly hostile to migrants and heightened militarisation and policing of borders and our fellow humans labelled as ‘outsiders’ on either side of them, we can only imagine the nightmare which the future holds if no one stands up for migrant rights, for human rights.


Let’s examine the reality. Europe failed to deal with the 2015 migrant crisis in a humanitarian manner and actively chose to make immigration as difficult HUMAN RIGHTS



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Facial recognition systems are spreading everywhere with no control WORDS BY RICCARDO MARROCCHIO IMAGE BY ALIVIA OSBORN The first facial recognition system (FRS) was developed in 1960s by the Mormon bishop Woody Bledsoe, co-founder of Panoramic Research, in Palo Alto, California. He wrote an algorithm which could read manually input facial features of a person and search for matches in a given database. In the 80s and 90s, thanks to technology improvements, the process of identifying a face in a picture and extract its main characteristics became fully automatic. From 2010, machine learning methods based on deep neural networks and fast graphical processing units have been used to boost the performance of the technology. Today, in ideal conditions such as the interior of a shop, well illuminated and equipped with good resolution cameras, facial recognition systems can identify a person with a 99.8% accuracy. That is why FRSs have become so popular and widespread, being used in airports for passport controls, to unlock your smartphone, to pay in an AmazonGo shop, to find lost people or kidnapped children, to track terrorists and thieves, to record people’s interests in shopping centers, etc. However, contrary to other biometrics data that uniquely identify people, like fingerprints or DNA, there are no specific rules or laws, in Europe or in the USA, on the use and retention of facial images. This resulted in a chaotic situation in which the police or a private company like a shopping center can decide on its own when and where to use facial recognition technologies and what to do with the images collected. They are not even obliged to inform people or obtain their consent. In Sweden, a school was fined after it was found out it was using facial recognition to keep attendance. In Britain, FRSs have been used privately at King’s Cross site between 2016 and 2018 and secretly trialed by police forces since 2015 at concerts, stadiums, protests and shopping centers. Civil liberty groups have raised concerns about the


potential abuse of a technology so powerful, if left unregulated. Indeed, in some authoritarian regimes, facial recognition is already used to track people based on their religion, sex or race. The technology is also very easy to obtain. Companies like Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft already commercialize their version of the product. The New York Time showed how it is possible, using cameras publicly accessible in parks and buying the face recognition technology developed by Amazon at only 100 £, to easily recognize and track people around the city, just confronting their images with public pictures accessible at Universities’ sites. Researchers also found that facial recognition algorithms are so far still biased against women and people of color, basically because neural networks algorithms are trained mainly on pictures of white man. This could result in misidentification and in more people of minority groups being wrongly accused of crimes. That is why in some U.S. cities like San Francisco, it was decided to ban the technology, at least until it has been properly developed and regulated. San Francisco’s city supervisor also underlined that, even with a perfectly functional FRS, it is psychologically unhealthy for people to constantly being tracked and watched in real time. Facial recognition is not the only biometric that is in development and unregulated. Skin texture can be analyzed to better recognize partly covered faces and distinguish twins, which cannot be done with simple facial recognition. Gait analysis, which categorizes people based on their stride, is also being used, for example at Westquay in Southampton, as recently discussed by Wessex Scene. So far, no laws have been proposed to regulate the acquisition and storing of new emerging biometrics data. Only the European Union, at the end of August, as reported by The Financial Times, has started working on a regulation that will give EU citizens explicit rights on their facial recognition data.



Modern Slavery and Nail Bars: The Dark Side of the Salon Industry

Statistically, nail bars are the most popular businesses run by Case studies the UK-Vietnamese community. With their too-good-to-betrue prices and walk-in convenience, they are popping up all kIndeed, during the UK’s first nail bar prosecution, of Bath’s over the high street and growing at an astronomical rate. Nail Bar Deluxe in 2017, one of the charges was related to money laundering, with investigators finding cash in In fact, research by the Royal Mail found that more beauty excess of £60,000. Two Vietnamese girls, who had been salons opened in 2016 than any other kind of independent smuggled in to the UK in the back of the lorry, were found business. But equally, we have also seen a rapid growth in to be victims of modern slavery. Both of them worked at the levels of labour exploitation in these types of establishments. nail bar 60 hours a week, and whilst one of them was paid £30 a month, the other wasn’t paid at all. One of them also A 2017 report by independent UK organisation Anti-Slavery slept on a mattress in the nail bar owner’s attic. The owner Commissioner found that of the 198 confirmed victims of and two accomplices were subsequently found guilty of modern slavery, 15 of these individuals were exploited in a conspiring to facilitate the movement of people for labour nail bar. But these statistics, although shocking in themselves, exploitation, but the case didn’t stop there. barely scratch the surface of the magnitude of the problem. Anti-slavery charity Unseen UK reported in 2018 that there were in fact 477 potential victims of modern slavery in nail bars - making them the second biggest concern, behind car washes, for helpline callers in terms of labour exploitation.

The nail bar in Bath was found to be the tip of the iceberg in a much larger network of trafficking and slavery, with Somerset Live reporting that related arrests were subsequently made in London, Staffordshire and Cheltenham.

Why nail bars?

The Anti-Slavery Commissioner report also found that in one case of modern slavery, the individual worked all day The trouble with nail bars is that it isn’t compulsory for them until 6/7pm seven days a week for just £30 per week. to be regulated or licensed. Although organisations like the Association of Nail Technicians include a code of conduct, The report also cited a case where a male Vietnamese minor joining them is voluntary. was trafficked from Vietnam to Russia, and then to the UK. The result of this lack of regulation is that human traffickers and victims are able to hide in plain sight, as it means that nail technicians needn’t undergo any kind of background checks before they are hired, making it easier than ever for these businesses to employ undocumented, untrained migrants without any kind of ramifications.

He was locked in a room and forced to train to paint nails before he was taken by traffickers to find work in nail bars. He worked five days a week in two different salons, but was transported to and from the nail bars each day and locked away when he wasn’t working.

The salons in this case were legitimate businesses, and they paid the victim £6.50 an hour. However, he was then This lack of regulation means that a lot of these salons forced to give this money to his traffickers. He was quoted are also able to be cash-only; this, coupled with the in the Anti-Slavery Commissioner report saying that, growing demand for business in the UK, makes it the ‘at the time I thought the people from the nail bar were the perfect location to launder money from other forms of same as the guys I stayed with in the house so I was afraid organised crime like prostitution rings and cannabis farms. to tell them [what was happening] and I thought I would be beaten.’ This then goes to show that businesses can harbour



LIFESTYLE victims of modern slavery without even knowing it, with it’s effectiveness is limited by the lack of funding being some traffickers controlling their victims from a distance. invested into the issue. This in turn means that police officers and other authorities have neither the training nor Why isn’t more being done? the resources to appropriately identify and help victims of modern slavery, which means that a large number of Tragically, some victims of trafficking may not even realise people continue to suffer after failing to be detected or they are being exploited. A lot of undocumented migrants helped in the right way. find themselves in a modern slavery ring after paying a people smuggler to organise a job for them and their journey How can I tell if a nail bar is practising modern slavery? to the UK, and unwittingly become part of a trafficking ring in the process. Unseen UK’s ‘Let’s Nail It’ campaign aims to raise awareness of modern slavery in nail bars by educating Also, victims of exploitation are often unwilling to copeople on red flags and warning signs that people are being operate with the police for two primary reasons. Firstly, exploited. Things to look out for include: they are so terrified of their traffickers and what they might do to them that they do not feel open to talk about their - An overbearing manager/owner that directly takes the experiences. Secondly, they are acutely aware of their own money, appears to frighten the employee and speaks for status as an illegal immigrant, and so are reluctant to report them when you ask them a question. any mistreatment they experience in case this is discovered. - Employees appearing disheveled, withdrawn and unwilling to make eye contact. Furthermore, despite the Modern Slavery Act 2015 - Employees who are all brought to work at the same time being implemented to stop these kinds of exploitation, or appear to live in the salon. - Employees seeming younger than you’d expect, frightened by the presence of their manager and not being able to speak English (this makes them more vulnerable). - The salon being cash only and having too-good-to-betrue prices. Overall, if your gut tells you something isn’t right or the atmosphere is unsettling or uncomfortable, it is better to be safe than sorry. It’s important that you don’t voice your suspicions to the worker or manager directly, as this can lead to them being re-trafficked to a different location. Instead, call the Modern Slavery Hotline with your suspicions at 08000 121 700. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.






Fast fashion: ‘inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends’. Many of our favorite high-street brands adhere to this process in order to provide us with affordable and stylish clothing, but does this ease-of-purchase come at more of a price than what’s on the tag? There is no doubt a stigma surrounding the world of high-street clothing/fast-fashion, especially nowadays in a much more sustainability-conscious world. This stigma however cannot solely be attached to the world of fastfashion, with more luxury and high-end brands also facing close scrutiny for their methods, as seen with this year’s ‘G7’ summit and the promise of the ‘Fashion Pact’ by 32 companies. Clothing brand Primark is a great case study to look in to how a fast fashion brand is trying to help improve its sustainability and the livelihood of its workers. Primark is renowned for their low prices. No matter what your budget, you will be able to find a great range of fashion and home accessories at affordable prices. As a result, the high-street favorite is often questioned on their ability to combine low prices with good standards in the supply chain. The company states that they do not own factories and are very selective about who they work with, with the welfare of the people making their products mattering a lot to them. Before an order is placed with a new supplier they audit each factory to check whether internationallyrecognised standards are being met, and once approved, it’s the job of their Ethical Trade and Environmental Sustainability Team to help factories meet the expected standards. They audit suppliers at least once a year in order to get a detailed picture of what conditions are like inside the factory, which suggests that some good efforts are made in creating a safe and stable environment for workers. Women make up more than half of the workers that manufacture Primark products, so the company has also tried to tackle some of the challenges being faced by female workers. In China, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar they have partnered with Business for Social Responsibility on 22

the ‘HERHealth’ initiative (Health Enables Returns) in which women train other women on their health needs and support each other in their learning. These sessions cover a diverse range of topics, but they are all of great importance and can sometimes be life-changing. Discussions for example cover personal hygiene, menstruation, family planning or sexually transmitted diseases. The programme has so far trained over 950 female coaches and reached more than 25,000 women. Primark also work within communities, for example in Southern India, where there are increasing numbers of inter-state migrants looking for work. These workers do not always know enough about relevant local laws or their workplace rights, which lead to the company partnering with with NGO ‘SAVE’ – Social Awareness and Voluntary Education - in 2009 to introduce Worker Education Groups in Tirupur. Each group is given training and support over a four-year period, covering topics such as life skills and personal development, health and safety and workplace rights. So far, this has reached over 6,000 people and the programme continues to grow each year. Upon looking at the case study of Primark, it becomes clear that some stigmatised fast-fashion brands are actually trying to do their bit to help the planet and create a better working environment for their staff. Whether it’s enough is up for debate, as companies can always do more to improve their methods, but these issues are of vital importance, so the fact that they are being addressed is a great start.




Moving to University and having to learn to cook for yourself can be daunting to say the least, but with these 2 recipes, you won’t have to miss out on any of your favourite home-cooked meals. I’m not promising that they’re going to be as good as your meals at home but, if nothing else, they’ll be tasty and easy on the wallet. Both of these recipes serve 4, so they’re perfect for making with your friends! WEWW Not only is this recipe easy to cook, but it will satisfy those Sunday dinner cravings and there is also minimal washing up needed… winner winner chicken dinner! Ingredients 1 whole chicken 1 lemon, halved 2tsp mixed herbs 750g of new potatoes, chopped into chunks 4 carrots, each chopped into 3 chunks Olive oil 100g frozen peas 300ml chicken stock Instructions Heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7. Remove the packaging off of the chicken, cut off any string and place in a large roasting tin. Shove the lemon halves inside the chicken (gross I know… but it will taste amazing). Rub the butter, herbs and seasoning all over the chicken. Place the potatoes and carrots around the chicken in the roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss everything together. Roast for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 200C/180CWORDS fan/Gas Mark 6 and roast for 50 mins more. BY AMY PENN


10 Minute Peanut Butter Noodles (VEGAN) - Serves 4 This recipe is quick, cheap and easy to make, so sack off the trip to Westquay for a Wagamama’s and make it with your pals at home. Ingredients 250g pak choi 1tbsp clear honey 4 spring onions, plus extra to serve 1 red chilli 1 lime Handful of salted peanuts Bunch of fresh coriander 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 2tbsp crunchy peanut butter 3tbsp soy sauce Knob of ginger 200ml vegetable stock 400g wok ready rice noodles Instructions Smash up your peanuts and set aside. Slice your ginger into strips and finely slice the red chilli. Throw them into a hot wok with some olive oil and allow them to soften. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic to the wok. Mix together with 4 finely sliced spring onions. Allow to soften, then throw in your pak choi stalks, saving the leaves for later. Give them a stir and add 2 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter and 200ml of veggie stock. Stir until the peanut butter has dissolved and then allow to bubble for 2 mins. Add a heaped tablespoon of honey and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce to the wok, then mix together. Chuck in your rice noodles, stir them into the sauce and then add your pak choi leaves, a handful of coriander and the juice of a lime. Once the pak choi has wilted, add a handful of the smashed-up peanuts, mix and remove from the heat. Serve in a bowl, topped with more peanuts, chopped spring onions and coriander leaves to taste. Recommended Student Recipe Books Although I have given you two banging recipes here to get you started on your culinary adventures, it will not be enough to keep you fed for 3 years, so here are a couple of books that I use when cooking at university. Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’ recipe book Miguel Barclay’s ‘Super Easy One Pound Meals’ recipe book Happy cooking!






The Real Price of Brands The UK spent over £400 million on Halloween this year, consuming an eye-watering amount of sweets. Many of these sweets and chocolates are undoubtedly of the brand Nestlé. This food brand made an annual revenue of 91 billion Swiss Francs (over £71 Bn) in 2018 and is famously one of the ten biggest multinational corporations and owner of more than 2,000 brands in 189 countries. And as cheap as our confectionery may be, we have to ask ourselves, what is the real price? Imagine the outrage, then, when it is revealed that the producer of our much-loved chocolates faces lawsuits in U.S. federal courts for child labour, trafficking and slavery in its cocoa production. Such incidents have been documented numerous times, and this is not a recent or new phenomenon. This year, the brand could not guarantee their products did not involve unjust labour practices such as child slave labour as they could only trace less than half of their purchasing back to the farm level - in places like the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The labourers said they didn’t know what chocolate is, let alone what cocoa tastes like. Nestlé’s exploitation in Africa dates back decades, with the 1970s ‘Nestlé Boycott’ against the baby milk scandal having disturbed the pages of (modern/recent) history for generations. And clearly, its recent failure to assure an eradication of child slave labour from its supply chains shows their 2001 commitment to achieve such eradication in four years by 2005 and later by extended deadlines of 2008 and 2010 is long overdue, to say the least. Though, given Nestle have had three lawsuits filed against it in the U.S., we clearly cannot hold our breath waiting for change. Us Westerners justify our consumption of unethically sourced goods, be it animal products, cheap clothes, electronics parts, and now even chocolate, by telling ourselves it’s a ‘Catch22’ where buying the product reinforces the exploitation, and in this case literal forced child labour, but boycotting puts the (so-called) workers out of work. What a dreadful dilemma we face… It surely does not bear thinking about.


Globalisation has been praised for establishing interconnected markets and allowing the spread of wealth, technology, goods and labour. But as we can see, this new type of capitalism is simply an evolved form of colonialism in disguise where the self-proclaimed superpowers of the world exploit our fellow humans so that we can live in sheltered luxury. It’s high time we burst that bubble. From the foods we eat and the clothes we wear, to the media we listen to and politics we subscribe to, our society is embedded with strings pulled by corporate power. The people who decide where to source our resources, goods and labour have a shared goal with the those that tell us what news they deem ‘important’ and what politics should be considered mainstream. That mutual goal is to uphold the status quo. If things stay as they are, we will continue to consume without questioning how our products made it to the shop floor, and we will continue to believe that we must ‘get our house in order before we help others’ and we won’t think there’s anything we can do to help the child slaves of Côte d’Ivoire. But that isn’t how things need to be. We need to realise that our ‘power as consumers’ is a fallacy, and that our real power lies in joining as a collective instead of holding on to isolationism. We have to use our power as a Western country to severe the strings of dependency we installed in developing countries for our own gain and help the people of those countries lead their nations to prosperity. When people march in solidarity and demand change, those with power - be that governments or multinational corporations - have to listen. If not us, then who?




T H E I N C E S S A N T V I O L AT I O N S : HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE HOLOCAUST World War Two was the deadliest war to take place

society. As early as April 1933, Jews had their right to an

in history, with over 70 million lives lost over the

employment of their choosing taken away. A nationwide

course of 6 years. Not only did the war see millions

boycott of Jewish businesses was organised, and shortly

of soldiers and civilians losing their lives, it also saw

following, Jews were expelled from the civil service, the

mass murder on an unprecedented scale; a genocide

judicial system, public medicine, and the army. Books

that continues to haunt us today: the Holocaust.

were burnt that were written by Jews, or seen to be Jewish in any way, violating Article 27; the right to have all our

The atrocities committed during the war led to the

works protected. Even education for Jewish children was

foundation of the United Nations, through which the

limited due to the Law against Overcrowding in Schools

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was

and Universities.

born. It was created in the aftermath of the Holocaust, acknowledging that basic human rights are not

Article 26 states that children should be taught to respect

always protected.

The declaration is formed of 30

everyone around them no matter what their ethnicity,

human privileges that everyone should be entitled to

religion, or background. However, schools were used

regardless of their identity, ranging from basic freedom

to spread Nazi propaganda to the youngest members

entitlements to the right for artistic involvement.

of society, whether this was propaganda targeting the disabled, Jews, or some other ‘asocial’ group.

Although the UDHR was not created until after the Holocaust, it is not hard to believe that almost every single

Arguably one of the most overlooked aspects of the

right listed in this policy was taken away from millions

Holocaust - discrimination against the disabled - began

during the Nazi period. Certain human rights violations

with the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased

immediately spring to mind when looking at genocide: the

Offspring. Passed in July 1933, this law allowed the forced

right to life, the right to be free from slavery, and the right

sterilisation of those with incurable physical or mental

to never be subjected to torturous or inhumane treatment.

disabilities to prevent them from reproducing. Not only does this law violate the right to have a family, it is also

When looking at the Holocaust however, there are

inhumane and cruel. It also led to the creation of the T4

violations that are not immediately considered as

programme, whereby hundreds of thousands of disabled

they are not particularly obvious and took place

people were murdered by those trusted with their care.

years before the murder of Jews and ‘asocials’ began. Articles 15, the right to citizenship, and 16, the right From the beginning it was the Nazi aim to dehumanise the

to marry whoever we want regardless of our ethnicity

Jews, to make them lose their faith, and to label them as

or religion, were both violated in the 1935 Nuremberg

outcasts and sub-humans who did not belong in German

Laws. These regulations stripped Jews of their German




citizenship, forbade Jews from marrying or having sex

prevent emigration, a move that went against Articles

with anyone non-Jewish, and once again segregated them

13 and 14 of the UDHR: the right to move freely within

from German society. Removing their citizenship not only

our own country and others, and the right to seek

stripped them of their rights as members of society, but

protection in another country if we are at risk of harm.

also removed their identity, something that would have been incredibly traumatic for Jews, or indeed anyone.

Looking back, it is clear that the Nazi regime sought to demoralise and dehumanise their Jewish citizens from the

The Evian Conference in July 1938 is in hindsight perhaps

minute they attained power. From restrictions violating

the most regrettable part of the build up to war in terms

their right to have a family, to marry whom they please,

of Allied actions.

and to flee their country of persecution, there is no denying that Jews were to be seen as outcasts, as separate members

With the refugee crisis growing, and thousands of Jews

of society, and as such were treated differently not only by

seeking to flee Germany before it’s too late, delegates of

the regime that propagated this agenda, but by ordinary

32 countries gathered to discuss whether their country

Germans. Friends, family, and neighbours were pitted

could accept Jewish immigrants facing persecution.

against one another.

In a disappointing, but perhaps all too familiar decision,

Although no one could have predicted the genocide that

almost none of the countries attending agreed to soften

would take place, it is not hard to see that the road to the

their immigration policy for fleeing Jews, with Britain,

gas chamber was one filled with human rights violations

the USA, and France all opposing unrestricted and

and dehumanising treatment. In retrospect, perhaps the

increased immigration.

mass murder of millions by the Nazi regime was not such a surprise at all.

In hindsight of what followed, this conference was a dark day for Jews of Nazi-occupied land. Soon enough, Jewish passports began to be confiscated to





Travelling Safely: LGBTQ+ Rights Abroad

Following international condemnation, protests and

each country, tolerance of LGBTQ+ people can vary

boycotts this year, the East Asian state of Brunei

widely, with rural areas usually being less accepting.

announced that it would not enforce the death penalty for gay sex.

The UK Foreign Office has a ‘local laws and customs’ section for each country on its travel advice website

Brunei is not an isolated example of a country brutally

which briefly explains the hostilities that LGBTQ+

cracking down on LGBTQ+ rights, as there are at least

people face in that location. Equaldex’s crowd sourced

68 other countries that criminalise consensual same-sex

website is more comprehensive, with timelines and


the status of various LGBTQ+ laws in each country.

Even in countries where same-sex relationships are

Your safety is paramount, and to ensure this, the UK

technically legal, LGBTQ+ people can face state-

Foreign Office advises LGBTQ+ people to refrain from

sponsored persecution.

public displays of affection. Sadly, even in the UK, twothirds of LGBTQ+ people avoid holding hands in public

I recommend that you research which countries have the

as they fear a negative response.

best record regarding LGBTQ+ and other human rights if you are deciding upon a holiday destination. Also, within


Where there are visible LGBTQ+ communities such as


TRAVEL bars, clubs and Pride festivals, support them and embrace

your full birth or adoption certificate in your birth gender

them as a space where you can truly be yourself. If you can,

or, one of the following:

book accommodation that is explicitly LGBTQ+ inclusive

- a Gender Recognition Certificate

or part of a well-known chain to avoid discriminatory

- a letter from your doctor or medical consultant

treatment by the owners. This is especially important

confirming that your change of gender is likely to be

if you are travelling with a partner of the same sex.

permanent, and evidence of your change of name such as a deed poll.’

Whichever country you visit, exercise caution on locationbased hook-up or dating apps such as Grindr or Tinder.

Furthermore, there are many instances of transgender

Be careful which personal details you disclose and which

people facing discriminatory and traumatic experiences at

strangers you meet. Vigilantes in Russia, alongside police

airport security.

forces in Egypt, are amongst those that have entrapped Grindr users to arrest, attack or sexually assault them.

In 2017 at a Florida airport, Olivia, a transwoman, was pulled aside when a full-body scanner highlighted her

Earlier this year, to improve the safety of its LGBTQ+

groin area. She was not allowed on to the plane until she

users, with help from the International Lesbian, Gay,

was patted down, then forced to remove her underwear, to

Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)

prove that she was not carrying an explosive device.

Tinder introduced a ‘Traveller Alert’. This safety feature automatically hides users in any location that is

This sickening violation of transgender rights at airport

potentially dangerous to LGBTQ+ people, unless they

security is shockingly not an isolated incident.

choose to be shown. Transgender people also have to overcome extra stress and bureaucratic hurdles in preparation for travelling abroad. To secure a passport that reflects a transgender person’s gender identity, the UK Government guide to passports outlines that they must either submit:





The Rights of Indigenous People: Travelling Respectfully and Consciously

When travelling, we can easily become overwhelmed by the beautiful sights and become tempted to get as close to them as possible in order to experience them as fully as we can. While you may wish to touch, climb, go inside certain landmarks, it is more important to be aware of the history of these places and their significance to indigenous people. It’s a clichéd phrase that we associate mostly with shopping, but ‘look, don’t touch’ is an important thing to remember when it comes to visiting certain landmarks. It is possible to have a fulfilling travelling experience whilst doing so respectfully and thinking about where we are and the meaning of beautiful landmarks we travel so far to see. There are many ways people travel disrespectfully, from violating landmarks to violating indigenous people themselves. These are some key examples of how travelling can be done wrong and how you can be a more respectful and conscious traveller. Uluru, Australia When you think of Australia, one of the key landmarks that probably comes to mind is Uluru, more commonly known as Ayers Rock, named by William Gosse in 1872 when he ‘discovered’ it. Uluru is in fact the Aboriginal name for the rock itself and the country where it sits, as named by the Pitjantjatjara and Yankuntjatjara people who have lived there for over 10,000 years. Despite their long history there, Uluru was officially known as Ayers Rock until the 15th December 1993 when it was given a dual name. There is a long history of disrespect surrounding Uluru, from colonisation to modern day beliefs that spread myths about the meaning of the name. If you go on a tour to Uluru you may be told that the name means ‘island mountain’ among other things. These are in fact false as there is no specific meaning to the name Uluru. Not only this, but despite the wishes of the Aboriginal people that tourists do not climb Uluru - there is even a sign at the site stating this - they continue to do so. This all changed on the 26th October when a ban came into force meaning it was no longer legal for people to climb Uluru. Yet, when this ban and the reasons behind it were announced, a flurry of tourists came to climb the rock before the ban came into effect. Uluru has a great significance to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankuntjatjara people who still live there today. For them it is a sacred site, and tourists have blatantly ignored their protests for years and disrespected the site. Not only do they climb the site, which causes erosion, but they leave litter too. You do not have to climb Uluru to experience and understand it. If you ever get the chance to visit Uluru, appreciate the magnificent site, think about the history behind it and the significance to the aboriginal people who call it home. This does not ruin your experience; in fact it will enhance it by giving you a deeper understanding of what you’re actually experiencing. Machu Picchu, Peru Travelling disrespect doesn’t just come from climbing on or


touching landmarks but our actions while we are there too. Machu Picchu was built in 1450, and in 1911 when it was ‘discovered’, the native Quechua people were living there. Similar to Uluru, Machu Picchu has a history of white colonisation and disrespect, such as looting and excavations and making the world aware of its existence, leading to the city becoming a popular travel destination. The popularity of Machu Picchu as a tourist hotspot leads to erosion and litter. For the indigenous people who live there the city has cultural and religious significance, as well as being a burial site for their dead. For the Quechua people, it’s not the fact that people visit Machu Picchu that is the problem, but how they act. Erosion and litter aren’t the only issues surrounding tourism at this site- in the past few years Machu Picchu has seen many people strip as part of the ‘naked tourism’ trend. The admission tickets now include specific rules banning nudity. Stripping at any public place, especially one that has such historical significance for the indigenous people who live there is greatly disrespectful. Although it is a small minority that do so, it is important when travelling to be aware of how you present yourself and how your actions might upset those for whom the sites are so important. Ethno-Tourism The disrespect for indigenous people from Western tourists in particular isn’t just towards the places but the people themselves. Ethno-tourism is supposedly aims to help tourists to learn more about indigenous people, but what it often does is exploit them. There is nothing wrong with the intention to learn more about another culture. When travelling in this respect it is very important to consider how you go about it. Some companies try to promote the view that indigenous people are ‘savages’ and there are companies that let you take pictures of indigenous people, but only at a cost. Actions like this exploit the indigenous people and make them seem more like zoo animals. This makes them feel dehumanised, and understandably so. Although you may wish to learn more about other cultures, it is more important to realise that just because indigenous people are different to you and lead different lives, they are not picture-proof of your ‘exotic holiday’.



GETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER: RACISM IN BRITISH FOOTBALL The FA Cup was, for many years, the centrepiece of the season. Football fans of the ‘70s and ‘80s will remember incredible moments such as Arsenal’s late win against Manchester United in 1971, or the ‘Crazy Gang’  of Wimbledon beating the mighty Liverpool in 1988.  In the last 20 years, we have witnessed Ryan Giggs’ semi-final winner in 1999, taking that Manchester United side to a historic treble along with Wigan’s late victory against Manchester City in 2013. Unfortunately, these days it is clear that the FA Cup is not a competition that the so called ‘big teams’ take seriously any more. What is certainly more worrying, however, is the state of English football off the pitch, especially considering that the biggest talking point of the FA Cup this year is likely to be an incident that occurred in a qualifying game between two non-league teams. As previously reported in a Wessex Scene article, the BBC have found that racist incidents in British football have increased by 43% in the last year.  This season it has been a recurring problem within the game; barely a week goes by without another shameful incident. Players such as Paul Pogba, Tammy Abraham and Hamza Choudhury have all faced horrific abuse on social media in relation to an on-field incident.  The abuse is not about their ability - it surrounds the colour of their skin. Abraham, who received such abuse off some of his own supporters after missing a penalty in the UEFA Super Cup final in August, made his response to any future action known after being called up to the England squad for their recent qualifiers against the Czech Republic, and a now infamous match against Bulgaria.  He was firm in the belief that England’s only option, if they received any racist abuse from fans, was to walk off the pitch, which would hopefully force the hand of UEFA (European football’s governing


body), to act decisively once and for all on an issue with which they have remained far too passive with for too long. And so...what happened? England went to Bulgaria - a country already under scrutiny and playing with a limited capacity, due to prior incidents of racist abuse from their supporters.  Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings (making his England debut, no less) and Marcus Rashford all received indistinguishable abuse from the home crowd.  Mings at one point was heard turning to officials and asking ‘Did you hear that?’ after another wave of despicable monkey chants came his way.  The game was stopped twice, with England threatening to leave the pitch.  The offenders were removed from the stadium, some performing Nazi salutes on camera - a truly shocking image for anyone who loves the game to see it reduced to such shameful antics. Shocking, I say?  Of course it wasn’t. The England team stayed on the field (admirably, one might argue) and beat Bulgaria 6-0.  But did those Bulgarian supporters care about the result?  Was it worth staying on the pitch?  Some would say no, and I would agree.  It would make a stronger statement to leave the field of play, in defiance of the racists and those who protect them, in this instance. The courage that many wished to see from England was unfortunately put into practice a week after the England v Bulgaria match.  Haringey Borough took on Yeovil in an FA Cup qualifying match.  The game itself was halted in the 64th minute, with Yeovil leading 1-0.  Haringey goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat was allegedly spat on and had objects thrown at him by Yeovil fans.  Another Haringey player was also reportedly the victim of racist abuse from the same set of supporters.  Haringey manager Tom Loizou took it upon himself to make the bold decision to send his players off the pitch, resulting in the


HUMAN RIGHTS match being abandoned. Loizou remained adamant after the game that he had taken the right decision. “There was no way I could let him (Haringey defender Coby Rowe) continue...If we get punished and thrown out, I don’t care” Indeed, Loizou had made the right decision to take his players off.  But unfortunately it is an act of courage and defiance that will undoubtedly do little to combat racism in British football.  The match was a contest between two non-League teams in a competition that many football fans declare a second rate competition.  The incident at Haringey was in the headlines for barely a week.  The issue, once again, has been swept under the rug by the FA, who for all their condemnation of the events both in Bulgaria and at Haringey, have ultimately failed to address the issue, just as their European counterparts have done.  Those in the media offered their outrage; few offered solutions. Outspoken on the issue of racism in the game, exprofessional Stan Collymore asked for and provided evidence to the fact that this is a problem that can be followed all the way through from the elite level of the sport, all the way down to grassroots football.  Those involved in the game at grassroots level contacted Collymore with tales of racist abuse that went continually unpunished.  The teams receiving the abuse were threatened with expulsion and the incidents descending into one of ‘he said, she said’.  It continues to be properly unpunished.  To get it out of the game should be the number one priority for the FA, UEFA and anyone else responsible for the governance of football.





New Charter Rights for Southampton Students Announced Disclaimer: This article is satirical in nature and does not intend to discredit or demean any vitally important human rights campaigns or movements. Furthermore, any views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole. Following on from the breakthrough Union-University Relationship Agreement, SUSU and the University ViceChancellor have agreed to jointly endorse a new charter for the rights of students at the University of Southampton. The Vice-Chancellor, whose identity remains a mystery to the vast majority of students, was reportedly very keen to engage with discussions, much to the surprise of all parties. Negotiations reportedly began with the suggestion that all students should be declared equal. This was quickly vetoed by representatives of the Medicine and Engineering Societies, who correctly pointed out that if every student was equal, then Humanities Students would have to pay significantly less in tuition fees. The main points of the agreement instead centre on a guarantee of fair and democratic treatment for students at a similar standard to SUSU’s new partner organisation: Pyongyang University SU. A summary of the charter was provided to Wessex Scene:  The first principle of the charter stipulates that all students have the right to take time away from their studies to relax. Suggested relaxing activities include visits to Hartley Library, writing assignments at 5AM, or going for a nice, relaxing Personal Academic Tutor meeting. We understand that some students have tried to engage in so-called ‘sports’, so the University and SUSU will continue to work to discourage this activity by making Sports and Wellbeing membership cost so much that even Manchester City probably wouldn’t bother with it. The second principle of the charter recognises the right for students to choose what they eat. This principle particularly applies to the now-marginalised meat-eater community, who have recently been cruelly limited in their choice of places to eat to all but one café on campus.

To avoid something awful like this ever happening again, and threatening the rights and freedoms upon which our civilisation is based, all future vegan or vegetarian eateries on campus will offer a meat option of quinoa salad with steak, but without the quinoa or the salad. Finally, the third principle is that all students have the right to remain silent. It has been brought to the attention of SUSU that some lecturers think it is acceptable to ask questions in 9am lectures on a Thursday. Students clearly cannot seriously be expected to say anything academically coherent before midday, or indeed after.





HOW TO RIDE ON REBELLION COATTAILS WHEN YOU DON’T WEAR CLOTHES: A GUIDE TO RACTIVISM Disclaimer: This article is satirical in nature and does not and the right to seek a safe place. Local Ractivists have intend to discredit or demean any vitally important human clearly protested against their exclusion from this bill, while rights campaigns or movements. exercising their belief in the freedom to move and the right to public assembly. Ever since humans have learned to communicate, they have been protesting against something. Many things A large collection of the rodents often gets reported for in life demand to be changed, and many fearless parties being unsanitary for human life, but this is exactly the have made the sacrifice of protesting thus. Southampton type of discrimination that is being protested against. The itself is not free from such radical ideologies either, most important human right that the rats are requesting with the latest activist group lining the city’s streets and is that nobody can take away your human rights, but sewers, demanding the recognition they deserve: these they are now making a direct motion towards Parliament valiant beings being none other than the Portswood Rats. to request that this includes everyone, rats and all. After the troubling times in 1945, the UN devised a list of 30 basic Human Rights. The rights of people have been added to and adapted since before this time and continue to be so today. The self-proclaimed Ractivists are taking drastic measures to demand the same rights as their human equals. The latest bought of dangerous protests have resulted in many Portswood homes being broken into, with rats passionately requesting the same rights as humans by entering through holes, doorways, windows, and even toilets. This fearless type of activism has been echoed throughout history by groups such as the Suffragettes, and Portswood is now the home of this drastic social rebellion.

But it’s not just the rats that are rebelling. Students at the University have seen a surge in sacrificial rebellion, with fellow vermin, the humble pigeon, making the ultimate sacrifice to protest the construction of the new Centenary building; demanding not just the right to exist, but the right to have a voice on what is happening in their local area and skyline. With the average rat being 32 times smaller than the average human, it is clear that drastic action is needed for the kind of social change that is being yearned for.

The Portswood rats continue every day to demand equal rights, but this has yet to come to fruition. So, next time a rat climbs through your toilet and passes out on the bathroom The surge of ractivism in the modern day has been floor, take mercy on this martyr for its cause, and look inside anticipated for some years due to the rodents missing your rebellious heart and protest for equal rodent rights. out on being included in the Animal Welfare Act, which protects domesticated animals against a variety of WORDS BY EMILY DENNIS abuse. The rats have shaken themselves from the reins of IMAGE BY CHLOE WITHERS domesticated life and gone straight to the alpha species, to demand from humans the very same rights that they have granted themselves. There have been a variety of staged protests that have recently occurred and that have created a lot of public commotion in the aftermath. Basic human rights include food and shelter for all, 34



From the accents, to the culture, to the obsession with tea, it seems there are few elements of being British that go unfetishized by other cultures. So, if you, like me, are on the outside looking in - or you’re already British and would just like to know how to upgrade your Brit game - take a look at these tips from an American who’s been not-so-subtly studying the English since her arrival in Southampton last year: Complain About everything. Always. But only subtly. If you’re doing it right, the tutting of a few hundred indignant British people can fill a room with the same low, threatening buzz made by many bumblebees. Not sure what to complain about? Try a few of these standard go-tos: Too hot? Complain. Someone turned on one of the country’s rare air conditioners to alleviate the heat? Insist that you are now in danger of freezing to death. Bus is late? Oh, the state of buses in this country! Bus is early? See, this is exactly why transportation is so bloody unreliable. However, when asked if anything’s the matter, you are bound to smile, nod, and be passive-aggressive as soon as the inquirer is gone. Be painfully awkward

Brit-splain Everything

Not only are you morally obligated to spontaneously combust at the first sign of human contact, but accepting compliments, smiling at strangers, and being able to speak to people in shops are also off the table. The simple good wish, ‘Have a great day!’ can make you curl into a ball of confusion. At best, you are capable of having a day, but only one with no specified adjective.

If you’re not familiar with the term, that’s probably because it’s my own invention, based on extensive personal experience. However, the most important thing you need to know is that it’s the new mansplaining and just as welcomed everywhere! Whether you’re explaining the flaws in American culture (and to be fair, no one’s likely to disagree with you), quibbling over the right way to make tea, or explaining why your culture is simply better, the good news is that no one from other cultures will mind - they’re too busy falling in love with your accent!

Live and die by queues Although only number three on the list, do not mistake the rules of queuing for being inconsequential. Largely unspoken and almost impossible to read, the rules of queues are not only sacred, they are magically imparted to the souls of every newborn British person and are as definitive of their British nationality as their passport. If someone else skips the queue and you tolerate it, your citizenship may be revoked. Likewise, if you give so much as the appearance of jumping a queue yourself without having a nervous breakdown and never returning to that pub again, your citizenship will most certainly be in question. A special hearing may have to be called. However, you can make up for it by incessantly explaining how to queue to every American you meet. Trust me, even if it’s the 95th time, they’ll still appreciate it!

And on that note, I must add that though there may be some truths present in this article, the points listed here are in no way holistically representative of the kind, lovely, and genuinely friendly British people I’ve met since arriving in Southampton, even though all my British friends have proudly told me that making fun of me is England’s new national sport.






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Wessex Scene Human Rights Issue  

To commemorate the recent anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights, we have done a special issue dedicated to all things human...

Wessex Scene Human Rights Issue  

To commemorate the recent anniversary of the European Convention of Human Rights, we have done a special issue dedicated to all things human...