Thursday, 10 December 2009

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day 2009 End Discrimination

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”

Source: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

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.

Complacency is discrimination’s best friend



  1. I think it is important to remember that human rights violations are happening every day and in places you'd least expect it. Don't look any further than your own backyard. Read this article: and then do something about this world we live in. -Lisa

  2. Thanks Lisa, I do try to do something every day and that is why I keep this blog.

    Unfortunately, I could not verify the truth or accuracy in the website link you sent to me. It talks of the "red threat" which in South Africa was referred to as the "rooi gevaar" in the 1980s. South Africa was involved in the civil war there in the 70s and 80s and what is mentioned on that website is not exactly new news. However, the civil war has been over since 2002 and in addition, the socialist MPLA government, which has been in power since 1975, recently won 81% in a free election. It is not exactly a "red threat" when the government is voted into power in an election.


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