The holiday season is fast upon us. December is typically a month you celebrate your families, express your gratitude, and give to others in association with cultural and religious beliefs. However, regardless of what religion you practice or belief you hold, December is also recognized as the Universal Month for Human Rights.
In 1948 after the turmoil of World War II, the Commission of Human Rights, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, wrote a document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2. This document was adopted by the United Nations and defines human rights on a universal level. It states "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty1. "
Then the document continues to provide twenty-eight additional articles addressing human rights and emphasizes the importance of protecting people's freedoms. It sets a common standard of achievements for all people and nations.
While we hope that human rights are recognized every day of the year, let the Universal Month for Human Rights be yet another reason to embrace the people around you this December. Take the time to find similarities amongst those near you, learn about another culture, make a new friend with a different background, and keep an open mind. Always remember to treat others kindly, with respect and equality, because at the end of the day we are all human.
- UN General Assembly. (1948). Universal declaration of human rights (217 [III] A). Paris.
- Universal Month for Human Rights. (2019, December 02). Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://www.few.org/universal-month-human-rights/ . Universal Human Rights Month is observed every December., document at its very first session in 1946.