“I wish that a conscious sense of peace and a feeling of human solidarity would develop in all people…” Rigoberta Menchu
Human Rights are for everyone, everywhere, every day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was created in 1948 in response to the global atrocities that happened during World War ll, in the hopes to never again repeat such horrors. Representatives from all over the world drafted this milestone document. It proclaims that all people are entitled to the same freedoms and basic rights such as life, liberty and free speech. These human rights are not privileges and they cannot be granted or revoked.
Although criticized as naive since fundamental human rights are abused every day, the UDHR stands as a goal, something for which we can strive. It stands to inspire the vision of a world where all people are treated with equality and respect, where they are safe, protected and empowered to live a life of dignity.
Rigoberta Menchu and Guatemala’s original Mayan inhabitants were NOT treated with dignity and respect by the colonial government who installed itself there. In fact, for 500 years, the Mayan people had been treated with injustice, intolerance and violence. In an attempt to have the basic human rights of her people honored, Rigoberta Menchu wrote a book about her experiences. This book attracted much attention and sympathy from an international audience which pressured the Guatemalan government to stop the violence.
Human Rights Day marks the day, December 10, 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here are a few ways to celebrate:
Know your rights! Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here’s an illustrated version: https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/#1
Show your solidarity. Fly the flag or make your own.