Friday, December 10, 2010

Human Rights Day: A Challenge For The Future

The promotion and protection of human rights became a primary concern for the United Nations following the atrocities of WWII. The global community weeped at the loss of so many lives and resolved that they would never let hatred and death reign again. Three years later, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was written that respect for human rights and human dignity "is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world."

On this day, December 10th, we observe Human Rights Day in commemoration and respect for the Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and for their dedication to protect the rights of people the world over. Over the years, nations, agencies, and individuals have joined forces to ensure the primacy of human rights and to confront human rights violations wherever they occur.

Sadly, people continue to suffer from gross misconduct. People in our own backyards are being bullied for their sexuality, communities across the ocean are needlessly being slaughtered, and women and children are victims of sex trafficking at home and abroad.

I believe in the power of a unified group to make a difference and to bring great change. Therefore, it is not enough to declare any one day to be Human Rights Day. We need to take a stand every day to protect the rights and freedoms of our friends, neighbors, and more. I challenge everyone who reads this blog to speak up against discrimination, to not sit idly by when you see someone suffering, and to educate yourself and others about what human rights are and how you can help protect them. For me, today is a day to regroup and prepare myself for the fight to protect human rights in the year ahead. Let Human Rights Day be a celebration of how far we have come but, more so, a reminder of all the work still left to do.

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