For the past sixty-eight years, the world has celebrated the December 10th anniversary of the 1945 United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With the fresh recognition of what humans can do to one another following the horrific evidence of the Holocaust, the historic UN act promoted the publicizing of the Declaration text. It reads: “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.” Now in 438 different languages and dialects, the document holds the Guinness World Record for being the most translated document in the world.
And yet, even with strong Constitutional protections in America, in a 2015 United Nations report, the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out cases of criminal justice, national security, immigration policy and social and economic rights violations. Compared to other liberal democracies, the ACLU reported the US has comparatively a “poor record of upholding basic rights.”
Human rights are not simply a privilege. As a human being, these are certain fundamental rights you should not be denied. Here are ten of the most well-known of the thirty universal rights contained in the UN document. They include the right to trial, the right to a nationality, the right to privacy, the right to peaceful public assembly, the right to own property, the right to education, freedom of expression, freedom from slavery, the right to seek asylum and the right to get married and start a family.
When I think of the importance of protecting human dignity for the whole human family, my mind always plays the lyrics from John Lennon’s song: Imagine. Look up the words and see how you feel about it. This shouldn’t be such a tough challenge, but injustices continue to play out in America and around the world.
By telling true stories from my family history which includes injustices that caused the loss of life of family and friends, property, and homeland, I’ll never stop working for the protection of human dignity and rights. The path to the goal is education – of the young and old.
Learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
For more about what’s happening around the world about deterioration of Human Rights: