In 2023, we have Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can hold conversations with people, grow biological organs for replacement, and even work with teams remotely worldwide in milliseconds. With all these advancements, we still find that many people cannot afford fundamental human rights in these modern times. These rights can include life, liberty, and security of person; shall not be held in slavery or servitude; and all people are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection. These fundamental rights are outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948. The UDHR enshrines the indisputable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status (un.org, 2023). With the UDHR turning 75 this year, people worldwide are still seeking fundamental rights.
General Assembly Resolution 217 A
General Assembly resolution 217 A is the official name for the UDHR declaration that the United Nations General Assembly adopted in Paris on 10 December 1948. This document outlines the fundamental human rights all humans inherently have and cannot, or should not, be taken away. The declaration was first considered in 1946 after World War II, and a preliminary draft was created in 1947. After the initial draft, members from eight states worldwide formed a formal drafting committee.
These members made up the Commission on Human Rights. The Commission had 18 members from various political, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the chair of this committee. She also played as the driving force behind the declaration’s adoption. René Cassin of France drafted the first version, which became known as the Geneva draft. The final draft was composed through the efforts of over 50 United Nations member states in September 1948, with the UDHR being adopted on 10 December 1948. The UDHR is the most translated text, with it translated into over 500 different languages.
What Rights Does the UDHR List?
The UDHR was written with 30 articles (human rights) that all humans should have. Since its inception, articles have been added to meet the changes in our cultures. Here is a list of the 30 rights the UDHR outlines for all human beings: The Effects of the UDHR on the World
While the 30 articles listed in the UDHR are rights all humans should have, this is not necessarily the case. Different non-member states of the United Nations do not abide by these rights, and from what media has shown over the years, some member states do not allow all rights to their citizens. This is often due to the fear of dictators or “elected” governments losing power over a country. Giving their people more natural rights allows them to become more enabled and informed.
Even with the roadblocks in providing everyone with natural human rights, the UDHR has been the inspiration for several actions, including more than 80 human rights treaties/declarations, constitutional provisions, human rights conventions; the protection of specific groups; and the Bill of Human Rights, which addresses concerns such as racial discrimination, torture, enforced disappearances, disabilities, and the rights of women, children, migrants, minorities, and indigenous peoples (un.org, 2023). Member states of the United Nations continue to use the UDHR as inspiration for laws within their country, which provides extra protections for these rights. For those countries not abiding by the UDHR, civilians have resources at the regional and international levels to file complaints.
What Can You Do to Support National Human Rights Day?
There are ways to show your support for National Human Rights Day. The first is to attend a Human Rights Event. These events could be local to your region or held on a virtual platform like Zoom. The events can include seminars, conferences, or just a get-together discussing topics on human rights. Attending events will educate you on the UDHR principles and learn about the challenges different communities face worldwide.
Another option is to get involved with campaigns for human rights. These campaigns will often promote human rights, support communities whose rights have been taken or not given, and fight against discrimination. Further, the campaigns can encourage diversity and inclusion while advocating for equality and social justice. If campaigning is not your tempo, you could always donate to or volunteer for organizations supporting human rights.
One of the most significant ways to support National Human Rights Day is to be a good person and treat others with the respect and dignity they deserve. Nobody should face any discrimination or have their natural rights taken away from them. The next time you see someone infringing their rights, speak up and fight against social injustices. These positive actions can have the most significant effect in spreading the message of National Human Rights Day.