Applying What I Know About Human Rights

The blogs assigned in this class throughout the semester have driven me to pieces of research and journalism that I never would have stumbled upon otherwise. The lessons I learned, particularly about compassion fatigue and the intervention dilemma, have reshaped the way I look at global issues.

Photo credit: freddiecerva.com

Photo credit: freddiecerva.com

Susan D. Moeller’s article opened my eyes about the various problems that arise from compassion fatigue, but it also helped me understand how and why compassion fatigue occurs. I think the biggest takeaway from her article was her statement that people become frustrated and disengage when they are faced with a problem that doesn’t have a simple solution.

I myself am guilty of this very thing. Several times in my life I’ve watched the news and have gotten fired up over a particular issue, following the story every night. Then, no less than two weeks later I all but forgot about it because the media stopped covering the issue, even though it hadn’t necessarily been solved. As a human being, in the future I’m going to honestly work harder to continue following stories, regardless of how much saturation they get in the news, until the issue has been solved. If that means I have to sign a petition or share an article to raise awareness, I’m going to do what I can. As a journalist, I’m going to be more aware of things that are happening around me.

Just today there was an article published by a local news station in South Carolina about a woman who recently escaped a human trafficking ring. The article quotes a woman who works for a non-profit fighting to end human trafficking who says that human trafficking is everywhere, including small towns and big cities in the United States.

Since I’ve been in this class and started finding articles like these, I’ve made the issue of human trafficking part of my conversations with my family and friends. I’ve shared the articles I have found with them and have encouraged them to be aware of the fact that it exists within our own borders. I hope to continue practicing these types of conversations with other issues related to human rights.

I’m also going to do my best to pitch story ideas in the future that focus their attention on human rights violations that are occurring in the United States. I want to eliminate any biases from these stories and center them on the facts of the problem and potential resources that could accelerate change. Hopefully small steps like these can help to make a difference.

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