Equal Treatment under the Law – Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty discusses human rights and voting at Worthing High

19 March 2015

Shami ChakrabartiThe #S4SNextGen talk series welcomed Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) to Worthing High School, where she talked to 450 Y10-Y12 students last Friday.

Shami kindly agreed to take part in the series to inspire young people to register and consider voting as one of the most fundamental ways of being able to influence their lives. She opened up the talk by drawing up a comparison between voting and eating – “the menus are not necessarily delicious but both are necessary”.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, speaks to students at Worthing High SchoolShe talked about the importance of being realistic about the imperfections of institutions of power – such as banks and media – realising that we need them but ensuring we continue holding them to account through careful selection of our representatives (the Government). “Voting is essential and necessary to accomplish that, it is however not sufficient in today’s democracy” – if institutions of power around the world are not carefully watched by e.g. human rights organisations, Shami explained, democracies are at risk to become tyrannies which we have seen happen throughout our modern history and today.

Shami also spoke about advantages and disadvantages of current voting system in the UK, commented on a political profession as a career and importance of good politicians in the Government, talked about her own interests in law and how her own journey and passion for human rights started.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, speaks to students at Worthing High School“I thought the questions from students and their confidence were very impressive” Shami commented upon departing from the school.

You can read more about Shami’s visit in the Worthing Herald’s article on the event.

This talk is a part of the charity’s national #S4SNextGen “Why I Vote” campaign to engage and inspire state schools students on the upcoming election. See the launch debate hosted with Rick Edwards and special guests.