Call to Hope and Action
The United Nations’ 75th observance of the International Human Rights day was celebrated on December 10, 2023, dubbed as “Human Rights 75”, and with the theme “Freedom, Equality and Justice for All”. Such observances have been used by the UN as a strategic tool to create awareness and mobilize actions on global concerns, most of which are established by the United National General Assembly. The celebration specifically commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a groundbreaking international document that enshrines the inalienable rights that every person is entitled to regardless of race, language, religion, or any other societal status. It was adopted after World War II, marking the first time that countries came together to protect human rights and freedoms on a universal scale.
Our thoughts go to the millions of families and children who go through unimaginable suffering and human rights violations in Gaza and Israel, Ukraine, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and many other countries in the world today. And feminists would always remind us that women’s rights are human rights- so therefore, we include in such remembrance women all over the world who are victims of sexual abuse and violence. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said in his message that this year’s celebration should be seen as “a call to hope and action”.
It is worthy of mention that our current education curriculum already integrates the education of children on their rights. I recall in the past seeing a lot of these advocacy materials on the “12 Rights of Children” such as the right to play, the right to education, the right to basic needs, the right to a wholesome family life. Rebuilding the foundation of hope for global human rights, as Turk puts it, has to begin with the youth through human rights education. This means introducing them to and building their appreciation of concepts such as dignity, equality, respect, and social justice. This means, too, that we teach them early on to take action to protect the rights of others.
QUOTATION FOR THE WEEK:
“TO DENY PEOPLE THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS IS TO CHALLENGE THEIR VERY HUMANITY”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE AND LIKENESS”
GENESIS 1: 26