“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.”
~Universal Declaration of Human Rights
December is a month of celebration worldwide, although 2020 may be more subdued considering the Covid pandemic. One of the most important global accomplishments of the 20th century was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
One prominent female figure, out of the many women who were instrumental in its success, included former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who posthumously received the United Nations Human Rights Prize. Another female, Hansa Mehta of India is credited with editing the phrase “All men are born free and equal” to “All human beings are born free and equal.” Numerous other women also influenced the social, political and cultural aspects of the document to cover a range of issues including protections for minorities and children, equal rights in marriage, and non-discrimination, all of which continue to be important themes today.
3 Tips for Observing the Month:
The Dignity & Respect Campaign suggests putting the spirit of the document into action by finding common ground with those who may not have the same background as we do. Take time to reflect on how we share one world with different cultures, faiths, beliefs, and customs.
Here are 3 ways to integrate observe the UDHR this month.
- Learn about what the document states and help teach others about why human rights for everyone are so important. The UDHR includes basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. These rights include:
- Freedom from discrimination
- The right to equality
- The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
- Spread the word on social media. Not everyone knows about this UDHR or this month and the words needs spread!
- Use the hashtags #UniversalHumanRights, #HumanRights, and #StandUp4HumanRights to post on social media.
- Go out of your way to implement the spirit of the document into your life and treat the people around you with respect, kindness, and equality.
Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from different regions worldwide, the UDHR was proclaimed as a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations and serves as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It has been translated into over 500 languages. Interested in reading the document for yourself or sharing it with others? Download the PDF here or click here for the child-friendly version.
“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.”
#UniversalHumanRights #HumanRights #StandUp4HumanRights #
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, modern manners and etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards
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