This year The Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation  is offering prizes of $4000, $2000, and $1000 to high school students judged to have written the best answers to the question below. There are two contests and two sets of prizes: one for high school students in the U.S. and one for high school students who are citizens and residents of other countries.


This year, Amina J. Mohammed the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, noted that the world is facing the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin and in September, Chileans will mark the 50th anniversary of the overthrow of their democratically elected government and the inauguration of the brutal Pinochet dictatorship.

Considering these and other matters, if you were asked to give a talk on December 10 marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what would you say about its effectiveness and its value going forward? Does it need to be revised to achieve its goals, or can it be effective in its current form? Please support your arguments with scholarly research.


Essays will be judged according to how clearly and well they answer the question posed and the extent to which they are supported by research. They are due on or before December 10, 2023 (Human Rights Day) and should:

1. Be 2,500 words or less (not including the footnotes and bibliography) in length.

2. Be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment to: or by regular mail to: KHREF, 184 Fillow Street, Norwalk, CT 06850, USA.

3. Via footnotes and a bibliography indicate the names, titles, year of publication, and page numbers for all references on which it is based.

Cover letter

Include a cover page with:

i. The title

ii. Author’s name and grade level and name and address of author’s high school

iii. Name of a teacher at the high school and iv. the following statement signed by the teacher:

“I teacher’s name, a teacher of [subject] at [name of the essay author’s school] am aware of [author’s name] participation in KHREF essay contest and to the best of my knowledge the essay [s/he] submitted represents [her/his] independent work.

iv. The following statement signed by the essay’s author: My essay is based on the research cited in its footnotes and bibliography and represents my own thoughts on the subject and prior to receiving a prize I agree to participate in a Zoom interview with members of KHREF’s board regarding my essay.

v. The following statement signed by the essay’s author and essay author’s parent or guardian: “I give the Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation permission to publish this essay.”


Winners will be announced, and awards presented by the end of January 2024.