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    Human Rights Poetry Contest

    “What makes poetry powerful and how can you express your personal response to human rights? Poets who write about human rights can generate empathy by connecting the reader/listener to experiences of rights being enjoyed, denied or defended.”

    23rd Annual K-12 Human Rights Poetry Contest


    “. . . Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and

    to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms . . .”

    ~from Article XXVI of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


    The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights invites Idaho students to create original poems in response to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Right to Education. You might consider the following questions: What does the right to education mean to you? Why is the right to education important? How can we promote and protect this right in our community?



    • All entries are due by Friday, April 14, 2023.
    • Each kindergarten through twelfth grade student may submit one poem.
    • Entries may be submitted online by clicking the “Submit Your Poem Here!” button below.
    • Entries may be delivered or mailed to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights (775 West Fulton Street, Boise, Idaho 83702). Clearly print your name, school, grade, and teacher’s name on the back of all poems. Include a copy of a completed permission release form, which can be found at this link.


    First, second, and third places will be awarded for each grade level. Winning submissions will be included in an anthology, and these poets will be recognized in a Celebration of Education held at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise on Thursday, May 4th at 6pm.

    Submit Your Poem Here!

      Contact Information


      Permission Release

      I hereby grant the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights permission to use my poem for fundraising and promotional efforts for the Center. By granting this permission, I recognize my poem will be used by the Center at their discretion.

      Upload Your Poem

      Maximum 5mb upload size - JPG, PNG, PDF

      Download a copy of the flyer and permission release here. Please share this information with all Idaho students who might be interested in joining the conversation around the right to an education. We can’t wait to celebrate this poetry!

      The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights.  Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and nations.  It sets, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages. (

      The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is one of the few places in the world in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is publicly displayed in its entirety.

      Classroom sets of pocket-sized copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English and Spanish are available for purchase; packaged is sets of 25 for $7.50

      2019 Grand Prize Winner, Camden Mullens, Boise High School, Grade 11, (Teacher: Sharon Hanson) Photo taken at Yom Ha’Shoah, the Idaho State Observance of Holocaust Remembrance.

      Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places close to home so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world.   

      Eleanor Roosevelt