Today is Human Rights Day and it was on this day in 1948 that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The UDHR has become a universal standard for defending and promoting human rights and I discussed the declaration back in July: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The basic foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that "all human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms".
Every year on 10 December, Human Rights Day is observed and celebrated around the world and some of today’s events in South Africa, New York and Geneva are listed on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.
The focus of Human Rights Day 2009 is non-discrimination. Despite stating some 61 years ago that all humans were born equal, that we all had inalienable rights, millions of people worldwide fight against discrimination each day.
“The realisation of all human rights - social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights – is hampered by discrimination. All too often, when faced with prejudice and discrimination, political leaders, governments and ordinary citizens are silent or complacent”
Discrimination is perhaps on of the most tangible areas in which every day people can get involved in the struggle for global human rights. Take a look at your workplace and how certain workers or classes of people are treated. It is okay to tell people that racism is not okay, that all workers should be treated equally and that in the workplace, no one is actually better than anyone else.
People often discriminate because they can get away with it or because they think that others around them agree with such behaviour. Be firm in your principles and slowly but surely you might come to change the world around you.