Every year on December 10th, Human Rights Day is celebrated to commemorate the day that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. This document was monumental, establishing the basic rights that every person is entitled to as a human regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, language, or many other statuses outlined. This year’s theme is “Equality: All Human, All Equal”, focusing on reducing inequalities and advancing human rights. This theme relates to the 1st article of the UDHR, which states that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The United Nations has emphasized the importance equality and a human rights-based approach play in achieving the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, keeping in mind the Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development. This aims to find solutions for discrimination that impacts particularly vulnerable people, including women and girls, migrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and many more. So, how can you celebrate this important day? Here are a few ways to embrace that we are “All Human, All Equal”: Watching Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech on human rights from the day the agenda was passed! At the time, Eleanor Roosevelt served as the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPVWmmVKVk0&t=1s Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is available in 500 languages and even an illustrated version for the young ones in your life, all of which can be found on the United Nations website http://www.un.org Make a donation to your favorite human rights charity like Amnesty International, Human Rights Campaign, or Fund for Global Human Rights Take a look at the exhibits published by the UN on human rights: https://www.un.org/en/property-slideshows-by-taxonomy/70001/10233 Think about some ways you can contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals from the 2030 agenda. These can be simple acts like using reusable bags instead of plastic when shopping to reduce the amount of plastic entering the ocean, reducing your food waste, or donating your gently used clothing that you no longer wear.
By: Melissa Fingado Mental Health Counseling Intern