December is a time for the holidays, snow and getting together with family and friends. The last month of the year also marks the celebration of equality, humanity and justice. Universal Human Rights month is a time for Americans and others around the globe to advocate for the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of any differences. The month should be seen as a reflection of respect for basic human rights and anti-discrimintation.
On Dec. 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which protects the freedom of all people. The declaration also created a foundation for a common future in the countries apart of the UN, as well as establishing an international law protecting universal human rights.
According to the UN website, “the UDHR is a milestone document, which proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
Each year the UN releases a theme for Human Rights Day, which is observed every Dec. 10. This year’s theme is “EQUALITY— Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights,” which relates to Article 1 of the UDHR. It states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Unfortunately, time and time again basic human rights and freedoms are politicized, especially in the United States. Discrimination and persecution against minority groups has not been eradicated. Hate still fuels the fire in U.S. politics. Why can’t anyone find common ground?
We are all human. Mark your calendars and celebrate universal human rights this month. Let’s unite this holiday season — not divide.