BNHR’s own executive director, Fernando Garcia, spoke at the opening panel for the Rights Working Group’s Human Rights Training at American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, DC in March 2011.
He briefly explained BNHR’s mission to promote human rights in communities along the U.S. border as well as the special challenges faced by those living on the U.S.-Mexico border, which is now a militarized zone. He also outlined the BNHR vision of progress through connection and community.
“Human rights is not about papers and treaties, it’s about that aspiration of a better society for everybody. Actually, I think sometimes we do not understand that human rights or treaties, agreements and international laws are just the accumulation of the struggles of communities across the world. We didn’t start the human rights struggle for minimum wage or for labor rights because there was a treaty, we started because there was a need for it. That [a treaty] is the reflection of human rights. Human rights are alive in our communities if we can connect the dots and the struggles. It is not about papers in that sense. So, that’s how we get it closer to us in every sector and every struggle.”
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