Human Rights Day
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Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10th. This day is used to remember when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The goal of the Declaration of Human Rights document was used to establish a standard of living that everyone is entitled to. It was also used to encourage all United Nations members to strive towards the standard of living for everyone in their nation. Although these rights are not legally binding, this document has been acknowledged for having a major impact on how human rights are perceived.
The Declaration of Human Rights has been translated in over 500 languages and is the most translated document around the world. This document has inspired countries around the world to start treating everyone with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is a day where we acknowledge the importance of human rights and show appreciation for this document that has made a big difference in the lives of many.
December 10th was chosen as the date for Human Rights Day because this was the anniversary of the day in 1948 when the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. This day is important because it reminds people that everyone is born equal and should be treated as such. It also brings awareness to how much progress we have made throughout the years and how much progress is still needed to achieve equal rights. Not only is this day used in appreciation, but it can also be used to bring forward the areas that still need improvement so that we are able to begin working on them.
The theme for 2020 is Recover Better: Stand Up for Human Rights. This theme was put in place to relate to the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on the need to recover better by making sure human rights are the center of all recovery efforts. The goal of this year is to focus on the importance of rebuilding the world that we want and creating equal opportunities for all. COVID-19 has risen rates of inequalities, discrimination, and poverty. We need to close these gaps and advance human rights to make the world better and more resilient which is the focus of the 2020 Human Rights Day theme.
Ways to Acknowledge Human Rights Day:
There are many things that can be done to acknowledge and participate in Human Rights Day. One common way has been to attend a human rights event. These events are typically political conferences, meetings, debates, or cultural events. This year might look a bit different due to COVID-19. Some of these events might be canceled or held virtually, however, there are still additional ways to celebrate while staying home and staying safe. You could post online to inform those around you about the significance of this day or participate in online discussions regarding human rights. Another way to acknowledge this day would be to donate to your favorite human rights charity which allows you to stay home but still take part in this day. Any donation, no matter how small is appreciated.
Regardless of COVID-19, there are still many ways that someone can acknowledge and participate in Human Rights Day. Take some time on December 10th to attend an event, donate to a human rights organization, or speak to others about the importance of Human Rights Day. We need to make the world more resilient and focus on closing the gaps that COVID-19 has brought forward.
Author: Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.