Taylor’s College Students Speak Out for Human Rights, Corruption and Environmental Issues

Taylor’s College Canadian Pre-University (CPU) Programme students held the annual Hear Us Out (HUO) Conference to bring awareness to youth on the various global issues, and the impact on the local community.

This year’s theme, A Brighter Future, brings together a total of 9 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to conduct a variety of workshops addressing issues such as animal habitat conservation, children’s rights, and advancing global justice. 6 of the NGOs are highly supportive of the Hear Us Out Conference and have been returning year after year to speak to youths.

Canadian Pre-University students also organised and participated in individual workshops on human trafficking, women’s rights and corruption during the conference. Sheryl and Yi Xin conducted a workshop on Corruption to question: “What happens when individuals with the supremacy to run the country, misused their power at the expense of human rights to benefit themselves?”

Jenny and Ryan who conducted a workshop in feminine rights, shared, “Social movements for women’s rights are often mistaken as radical groups that hate men. In reality, these movements are simply to attain equal rights for women for example in issues such as, when a women is raped, individuals say, ‘Her dress was too short’ or women should be paid less for the same amount of work as men.”

Amongst the workshop conducted is Everyone Has Hope (EHH), a project initiated by the Canadian Pre-University (CPU) students and teachers of Taylor's College, Subang Jaya 5 years ago to support Burmese refugee youths from the Alliance of Chin Refugees (ACR) Learning Centre to utilise the art of photography to document their daily lives and experiences. These youths from ACR shared their photography works and stories to the workshop attendees.

The highlight of the 14th Hear Us Out Conference is an exclusive session with Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). A former member of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Police, Datuk Denison advocates social justice, human rights and public policy. It’s his first visit to Taylor’s College and his advice to students is, “Speak out when mistakes are made. When you identify them, you will learn and grow from there.”

“It is an opportunity for our CPU students to raise awareness on social and environmental issues by designing their own workshops and promote the conference to both fellow students in the college as well as the public. Through this exercise, students are able to participate in CSR activities and voice out their opinions on key issues happening around the world and in Malaysia. It is beyond classroom learning, as this learning experience encourages students to interact with the public and NGOs to develop their character to be a productive leader who gives back to the community,” said James Leonard, Principal of Canadian Pre-University at Taylor’s College.

Participating NGOs includes: WWF-Malaysia, Sakshi India, HUGS by Lions Club KL, SUARAM, Seksualiti Merdeka, Lawyers for Liberty, The Befrienders, Everyone Has Hope and many more. The 14th HUO Conference attracts as many as 200 participants where the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the participating NGOs.

The Hear Us Out (HUO) conference is a global-issues themed conference organized by the Canadian & World Issues classes of the Canadian Pre-University (CPU) in Taylor’s College Subang Jaya. Currently in the 14th cycle, HUO provides a platform for NGOs and youths to connect and address key social issues in the country and around the world.