On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a document that, according to the UN, serves as the “common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.”
The document, along with two others just fifty years ago following the bleak years of World War II articulate civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights which are the birth right of all human beings. These documents are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Together with Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these documents came together to form the International Bill of Human Rights.
That’s pretty heavy stuff, right? And for good reason: until these documents were passed, there was no real global standard for how countries could and should treat individuals within their borders. Since their passage, huge strides have been made and many countries are now “recognizing human rights and the rule of law as the basis for truly resilient and stable societies.”
This year’s Human Rights Day focuses on four fundamental freedoms outlined by former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that are would and will lead to a better future for all mankind: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. We’ll be supporting the UN Human Rights Office by spreading word about their “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” campaign – a year-long campaign that will bring to attention the “inalienable and inherent rights of global citizens — now, and always.”
Learn more about the history of Human Rights Day, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, and how to become involved in your community by visiting http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/Home.aspx. Together, we can help create better world for everyone.