Stand Up For Someone’s Rights Today!
December 10 is Human Rights Day– a day celebrated annually across the world to commemorate the coming together of world leaders to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. As relevant today as it was on the day it was adopted, this milestone document articulated for the first time the rights and freedoms every human being is due.
While human rights abuses did not end when the document was adopted, the Declaration has nonetheless made great strides strengthening international human rights laws and helping countless people across the globe gain greater freedom and security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shocking rollback of human rights.
Throughout the world, people are sick, suffering, and scared. And in too many places, we are seeing rights and freedoms trampled. We’ve witnessed everything from attacks on journalists to violence against peaceful protesters to the stunningly callous approach to the global refugee crisis.
Daily we have watched as politicians shamefully use immigrants and refugees as scapegoats for social and economic ills. This has resulted in hate crimes, children being separated from their parents, genocide, and the deportation of immigrants who often face violence and murder in their home countries.
Political leaders on every continent are spewing toxic rhetoric and ignoring crimes against humanity.
In 2017, Amnesty International assessed human rights violations in 159 countries and accused the U.S. government of setting the tone for a year of “hate-filled rhetoric” that fueled bigotry and persecution around the world. So much for the U.S. being the global beacon of freedom.
“…What the pandemic has done is deepened and worsened these preexisting human rights problems, particularly for the most vulnerable.”MICHELLE BACHELET, UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
It should come as no surprise that the poorest countries are the most vulnerable– especially women. Women play a vital role as healthcare workers, essential staff, teachers, and caretakers– helping millions globally, both within and outside their homes. However, few are recognized due to persisting inequalities and biases.
“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”HILLARY CLINTON
Many women working in the informal sector have lost regular income and social safety nets and increasing numbers are victims of violence. Gender-based violence is skyrocketing in the U.S. and around the world; and many women are effectively confined with their abusers.
Suffice to say, this is unacceptable.
Which is why we must stand together. By standing up for the rights of others, we stand up for the humanity we share.
Here’s how you can do your part… Not just today, but every day:
- Inform yourself and others about why human rights matter.
- Speak out when another’s rights are at risk or under attack.
- Challenge harmful stereotypes.
- Consider the human rights track record of companies (and networks) before doing business with them.
- Combat myths with facts in online and daily conversations.
- Call on our leaders and representatives to stop the hate talk and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.