10 December 2020
Happy Human Rights Day everyone!
It has been 72 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. While the Declaration is not a binding document, it has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments that today form the basis for all international human rights law.
Today is an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights in rebuilding the world we want post Covid-19, the need for global solidarity as well as our interconnectedness and shared humanity. As asserted by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1958, universal human rights begin in small places, close to home, where people seek equal justice, equal opportunity and equal dignity without discrimination. We must ensure that these rights have meaning within our local community. Without collaborative citizen action to uphold these rights close to home, we cannot expect progress in the larger world!