The Prindle Institute is excited to announce the winners of the second annual High School Ethics Essay Contest! Over 200 high school students responded to the prompt “Does the United States have a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations are occurring?” The five winners received a cash prize of $300. Excerpts from the five winning essays are featured below.
Emily Crafton, Greenfield-Central High School- Humanitarian Intervention
“Not only is it a moral choice, but as Jennifer Welsh, from the R2P program explains, intervention can also promote resilience. Intervening in other countries strengthens those countries politically, ultimately preventing future atrocities. While it may seem unjust to interfere with the sovereignty of other countries, the definition of sovereignty is evolving.” Click here to read more of this essay.
Lourdes Latasa, Carondelet High School– The United States’ Responsibility to Protect
“There is never an end to the controversy over whether the United States has a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations occur. Sovereignty and human rights are crucial ideas that contradict one another in terms of whether the United States has the responsibility to use humanitarian intervention. Sovereignty in a state allows the state to be independent and to handle its affairs. It does not allow other countries to interfere in the state’s affairs.” Click here to read more of this essay.
Alec Sandberg, West Bloomfield High School– A Move Toward Intervention
“Having world peace would be ideal. However, the United States understands that this state is unrealistic unless something is done to help curb human rights violations. To promote its political agenda and social views throughout the world, the United States needs to unify countries that are willing to cooperate with each other. Countries that do not agree with the United States on how citizens should be treated would have a difficult time maintaining any type of relationship with the United States.” Click here to read more of this essay.
Regan Vander Tuin, Catholic Central High School– A Moral Dilemma: Armed Intervention
“Those who oppose intervention fear that it may lead to greater harm, but when specific guidelines are enforced to prevent under- or over-use of intervention, humanitarian aid is beneficial. The United States should ultimately intervene when citizens of other countries are unable to protect themselves.” Click here to read more of this essay.
Karmyn Von Ehr, Catholic Central High School– A Collective Responsibility
“The United States is currently a large global power that assumes a large portion of the responsibility to protect. Although many would argue that the United States should have the moral responsibility to intervene in situations of human rights violations, the United States government does not currently act upon or maintain a moral responsibility. In ways that the government does not have a moral responsibility, the citizens do. There are numerous organizations and orders that can freely act based on moral responsibility, whereas the government has restrictions.” Click here to read more of this essay.