Today marks the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and it is being celebrated all year long across the world. See the Wall of Events for international postings.
The UN Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental document that is designed to prevent the oppression and discrimination of people throughout the world. It was a uniquely broad consensus around civil, political, economic, and social rights. The first committee to draft the document was chaired by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1948, 58 member states of the U.N. voted unanimously for the document, with 8 abstentions (the communist bloc, Saudia Arabia, and South Africa). See the UDHR video that describes each of the 30 articles. They also have a Take the Quiz page where you can test your basic knowledge of human rights.
In this time of great human suffering, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is more necessary than ever. It is a vital set of basic human rights that we can use to protect ourselves and our families while demanding assistance from our governments.
Today, the U.S. does not sit on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Sign this online letter asking President-elect Obama to recommit to the UDHR and to join the Human Rights Council. Also, download a free human rights poster and display it in your home or office. Check out the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign for information on grassroots work in the U.S., and do your part to support basic human rights in the U.S. and beyond.