Today, the 10th of December, is International Human Rights Day. This day is observed annually to celebrate the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Translated into 500 different languages, it is the most translated document in the world.
The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day is equality- which is focused on in Article 1 in the UDHR. The United Nations’ slogan for this campaign is “All Human, All Equal,” as their particular aims this year include the reversal of vaccine inequality and injustice after the varied response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some people aren’t aware of their human rights. If you do not know your human rights the UN has the document available on their website. The document itself is written in a way that is accessible to read and doesn’t require any understanding of legalese.
The importance of human rights being acknowledged everyday is highlighted in this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
It is important for us as a community to keep these rights in mind so that we can always be acting with true equality in mind. Therefore it’s valuable for people to know and understand their rights. For example it seems, especially in respect to recent world news, that people have forgotten Article 2: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
On both the large and small scale, people judge others on the basis of their skin, gender, or sexuality. It is important to remember that we are “All Human, All Equal” and we should keep that in mind regardless of what people believe or where they come from.
Queen’s actively fights against discrimination, and with a new Inclusion and Diversity club run by Mrs Shearman, new student-based initiatives are being carried out to ensure equality, such as hopes to develop the PSHME curriculum to include more diversity.
By Samuel Pugh and Sophia Welch