Human Rights Day is an important day at the United Nations (UN). The UN’s General Assembly declared that having human rights “is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. But prejudice and discrimination are still stopping us from having an equal, more peaceful world.
However the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) created in 1948 has allowed human rights programs to make a huge amount of progress throughout the world. Political meetings, seminars and other events highlighting human rights issues take place every year.
What does it take to be a human rights defender? You. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, or if you have little education – what’s imporatnt is that you have a genuine regard for your fellow human beings and believe in the equality of all.
We’ve all heard of world-renowned activists like Martin Luther King, who was the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against racism. And another influential person who King was inspired by – Mahatma Gandhi.
So make your voice heard on the 10th of December. As well as the government and the media, citizens like you and me are urged to get involved. It could be organising a text to send to your phonebook or something bigger like holding competitions, exhibitions or fundraisers.
In 2009 students in South Africa took part in a competition where they had to argue a fictional human rights case. In Geneva, females from 28 countries gathered to talk about human rights for women and how female leaders can help make life better in their countries.
Make the most of this important day. But don’t forget that human rights is something that should be fought for constantly – every day of every year.
For more information on all these subjects visit the official UN website about Human Rights Day.