This blog has 365 words.
There’s one word for each day of the year that must be considered Human Rights Day.
But today is the official day, as designated by the United Nations, to celebrate the fundamental assertion that all people, everywhere, every day, are entitled to the same set of basic rights under theUnited Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This belief brings us together as one global community with a common set of ideals and values.
This year’s set of 365 days unfortunately brought to our attention many human rights that remain unrealized around the world:
On the 37th day of 2014, the Sochi Olympics launched amid reports of human rights violations against Sochi residents and migrant workers.
On the 103rd day, extremists abducted some 200 girls from their school in Nigeria.
On the 232nd day, hundreds of civilians, including many children, were killed in a chemical weapons attack on areas near Damascus, Syria.
And on the 322nd day, a Rolling Stone article slammed the handling of sexual assault cases on college campuses in the United States. Days later, reports of the article’s inaccuracy questioned journalistic ethics and the damage that could be done for sexual assault survivors in the future.
But there is hope – last year, Amnesty International reported 15 Human Rights Success Stories, including U.S. Congress’ passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the release of human rights activists in Cambodia, India and Yemen to name a few, and the adoption of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty by the United Nations General Assembly.
At a local scale, Pure Water is working to secure the rights of Haitians and Hondurans to safe water and sanitation, a right acknowledged in 2010 by the United Nations. Through Resolution 64/292, the U.N. calls upon states and international organizations to provide financial resources, foster capacity building and facilitate technology transfer to help developing countries ensure universal safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation.
As 2014 draws to a close, let’s continue to work toward a year of human rights successes – at whatever scale – to promote dignity, equality and safety.
Join the conversation. What do you consider essential human rights? Tag your response #rights365.