Observing Universal Human Rights Month

Human Rights
Human Rights
Courtesy of andres musta (Flickr CC0)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a historic document that sets out the fundamental rights that are to be protected by all nations. Its language is simple, clear, and unambiguous, and its 30 articles can be easily understood by all people at all times. The declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as an international bill of rights for all human beings everywhere. The UDHR has been translated into more than 500 languages and dialects so that everyone on earth can understand it.

Natural Rights for All

The UDHR was created as a result of the United Nations’ first International Conference on Human Rights, which took place in Paris. During this conference, representatives from all over the world gathered to discuss and debate human rights issues and create an international declaration that would include civil and political rights. The final document included economic, social, and cultural rights alongside civic ones, however, it still focused heavily on protecting freedom from state interference.

The Declaration was adopted by unanimous vote on Dec. 10, 1948, as Resolution 217 A (III), becoming one of only six documents to be unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly. It remains a foundational document for international human rights law today. Recent developments like gay marriage are now considered part of our basic freedoms because they were not included at its inception 70 years ago.

Human Rights are Basic Rights for Everyone

Human Rights
Courtesy of USAID Asia (Flickr CC0)

These are the basic rights that everyone on Earth is entitled to, regardless of age, gender, skin color, or anything else. They include civil and political rights (such as life and liberty) as well as economic and social rights (including the right to work).

Though it was signed by the UN in 1948 it didn’t come into force until 1976. Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.

These rights are the most fundamental values and freedoms that all human beings should enjoy. Human rights are the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world. They are interrelated with other social, cultural, economic, and political rights.

These Rights are Celebrated All Month and on the 10th

Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on the 10th of December to remind us that everyone has important entitlements such as freedom from discrimination, equality before the law, and access to education. It also reminds us that we have duties as well — the responsibility to respect these rights in our daily lives and support efforts to uphold them for others too.

The first article of the UDHR states that all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights. No one can be denied these rights because of their race or gender.

These rights are universal. This means that they apply to everyone regardless of nationality or ethnicity. They’re also inalienable. Meaning that governments cannot take away our human rights without our consent. This includes punishment for crimes against humanity; governments cannot use torture against citizens or deny them basic necessities like food, water, and medical care when they need it most during times of war or natural disasters.

No Single Right Is More Important

Natural rights are interdependent and indivisible. This means that no single right is more important than any other right. We have as humans living on earth together under one sky above us all — no matter where you live or how much money someone earns every month. It doesn’t matter what religion you practice each day at home with your family members before going out into public spaces during lunch hour break from school/work each week.

Now Human Rights Day is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made and to look ahead to what needs to be done. It’s a day of action, where people come together in their communities and around the world to take concrete steps towards realizing human rights for all. It is also a time of reflection — for each individual who strives not only to protect their own rights but also those of others. On this day we recommit ourselves as individuals and societies alike not only to protecting human rights but also promoting them wherever they have yet to be recognized or implemented effectively throughout the world.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed on the 21st of March every year. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966, in order to promote awareness of the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

The main goal of this day is to bring attention to the fact that racism still exists and must be eradicated from society. We can achieve this only if we understand our natural rights and learn how to respect them.

The Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is an independent statutory body in Australia. It monitors the implementation of human rights in Australia and works closely with the Australian Government to do so. The HRC was established by an Act of Parliament in 1977 and operates under Part IIA of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth).

The HRC is responsible for investigating complaints made by individuals or groups who believe they have experienced discrimination under certain federal laws that protect against racial discrimination, disability discrimination, and sex discrimination in employment. It also researches matters relating to human rights issues. Such as indigenous rights and sexual harassment in the workplace to help inform public debate about how best to protect these rights going forward.

Universal Human Rights

These natural rights are universal. They apply to every person and can be understood as a set of basic values that we all inherently possess by virtue of being human. Human rights are inalienable, irrevocable, indivisible and interdependent, and indivisible.

Human rights are the foundation for international law and the legal standards which underpin national legislation and institutions around the world.

They are important because they give people the freedom to live their lives without being violated by others. But we should not forget that human rights have to be protected by law. Otherwise, they can be easily disregarded or even abused. For example, slavery was abolished in many countries around the world but some still practice it secretly today under different names like human trafficking or modern-day slavery.

By Sheena Robertson

Sources:

United Nations: Human Rights Day
10 December
United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner: This year’s Human Rights Day slogan is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All” and the call to action is #StandUp4HumanRights.
National Today: Universal Human Rights Month – December 2022
United Nations: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of andres musta‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Richard Nyberg Courtesy of USAID Asia‘s Flickr Page – Creative Courtesy Commons

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