A group of art organisations and human rights charities have launched a week-long campaign in the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Fly The Flag launched on 24 June in London at Somerset House in London and continues until 30 June. At the opening event a giant flag featuring artist Ai Weiwei’s symbol of the footprint was lifted by hundreds of people from arts organisations, human rights charities and local schools, accompanied by a new version of protest song Bread & Roses, adapted by former children’s laureate and popular author Michael Morpurgo.
Flags are flying across the UK and internationally at cultural institutions in London, at Manchester Jewish Museum, National Museums Liverpool, Brooklyn and Mexico to name a few.
Morpurgo said: “Our human rights and fundamental freedoms are often taken for granted, all too often ignored or derided. They are always under threat. Europe has a Convention of Human Rights. For centuries, people all over the world have struggled to establish our rights and freedoms. It took World Wars and centuries of abuse of human rights before we could all agree that universal acceptance of our rights is the corner stone of all our freedoms.”
To support the campaign, Morpurgo wrote 12 rights for children and young people, including the rights to books, technology, freedom of expression, opportunity and plays.
Continued Morpurgo: “We and our children enjoy these long fought for rights and freedoms, handed down to them to us by our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. The understanding has to be renewed. The story has to be told.”