December 27, 2010

Am I Not Human? The Universal Declaration for Human Rights

Eleanor Roosevelt considered the signing of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights to be her greatest triumph. It was signed by the United Nations on December 10, 1948.

Roosevelt once said, "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. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. 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."

Universal Declaration for Human Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore, The General Assembly proclaims
This Universal Declaration of Human Rights

as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

I encourage you to review the 30 articles that make up the complete UDHR.

Once we realize that the nations of the world accepted human rights as being inalienable it becomes more difficult for us to sit by idly when we learn about human rights abuses. Our hope is that you will take action!
Please make a note on your calendar to join our blogging campaign, 'Am I Not Human?' on the 27th of each month. We want all concerned bloggers and blog readers to support this effort. It is one way that we can lift up the powerful example set over 60 years ago by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations.


RiPPa said...

As a First Lady, she did so much by way of human rights. Here in America she fought for the civil rights of Blacks way before the "movement" really got any steam. She was very much critical of her husband for not implementing more changes in this regard.

SjP said...

Eleanor Roosevelt remains a great role model for us all!

I invite you and other Villagers to stop by SjP's to read this month entry entitled: am i not human? obodo n'ezu ezu azu nwa. It focuses on the America's homeless children. Right in keeping with the vision of a former great First Lady.

Unknown said...

RiPPa - Barack Obama looks to Abraham Lincoln as a role model for his presidency. I hope that Michelle Obama will use Eleanor Roosevelt as her role model...

SjP - I'm grateful that you are participating in the 'Am I Not Human?' blogging campaign. Your post on homelessness contains a wealth of information. It is a post that I will refer back to often...