Article 1 of The International Bill of Human Rights 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.
The growing protests around the world, which at their root are seeking nothing more than an upholding of basic human rights, are at the heart of #HumanRightsDay .
From Hong Kong to Serbia, Russia to Iraq, Catalonia to Chile, daily protests abound. In every case, people are seeking to uphold their basic human rights.
The global protests that took place against the Trump administration’s immigration policies are another example.
The gross misuse of power and undermining of The International Bill of Human Rights demonstrated by “keeping kids in cages” is significant in its blatant disregard for the most basic of human rights. It has rightfully caused global outrage.
Similarly, attempting a total ban on Muslim immigrants speaks volumes about how little the Trump administration was committed to upholding human rights.
When such a powerful nation as the US attempts to deliberately and systematically negate its responsibilities to provide basic human rights, it sends a very damning message to us all.Tweet
The International Declaration of Human Rights goes on to say:
That every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among, the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
When we contrast the somewhat wordy quote above, with what’s actually going on globally, it also speaks volumes about who we are as individuals and nations.
It is the endless disinformation campaigns and polarisation of issues by global administrations, that lead to human rights abuses.
For example, when we look at the UK and its Conservative government’s position and strategy on Brexit, we see disinformation used to devastating effect.
Its focus on fake statistics, ‘keeping out foreigners’ and ‘reclaiming our sovereignty’ just like the good old days, led to an increase in hate crime, particularly towards Muslim and Polish immigrants.
Add to that a deliberately polarised media, owned by billionaires with selfish agendas, and the issue is further compounded.
Pitting one vulnerable group against another is an old, yet effective trope. Muddying the waters of what is and isn’t a basic human right, is another. As a campaign method, it can be described simply as: Playing to Prejudices.
Yet alongside the information-war-games, is a global community of people who see through this disinformation and inspire each other to bring about real change. #HumanRightsDayTweet
These national and global movements are a movement towards more personal and national, accountability. They are a call for greater transparency, compassion, and integrity – both personal and political.
These protests have become a global movement, figure-headed by those normally left on the sidelines. The irrepressible Greta Thunberg, being a case in point. She is a fearless climate change advocate who has been bullied shamelessly and publicly by those who like the status quo just as it is.
On this day of celebration of The International Bill of Human Rights, its basic premise could not seem more starkly contrasting to what is actually taking place in the world.
What then is the use of a human rights bill? Who can really enforce its vision? Who really fights to uphold its basic premise?
The answer appears to be, the ordinary citizens of our nations. It is the ordinary citizens of the world who are the cause for any celebration on Human Rights Day.
It is in their coming together from a base-point of reasoned compassion, that brings bills like The International Bill of Human Rights, to life.
It is not fakely-earnest politicians and heads of state, briefly bonding before they return to their ‘me first’ attitudes, that leads to an upholding of human rights.
It is those at ground zero, living through the effects and impact of human rights abuses, that call for, and make the change.Tweet
The International Bill of Human Rights does not enforce rights, it indicates them. It holds us to a basic standard of compassion. But it requires that we hold those we place in power, fully accountable for the enactment of those rights.
This is what we are seeing right now on the global stage. It is a tipping point. One where:
Global citizens are refusing to stand by and watch themselves or their fellow citizens be victims to an endless pursuit of profit and power. #HumanRightsDayTweet
It is a literal sea-change, when the very world we live in, is at stake. It is a call to compassionate arms reaching out to hold one another, rather than willfully seeking to destroy each other.
Make no mistake, unless we as humans begin to embody the principles of The International Bill of Human Rights, we are on a dark course. It is up to us to course-correct as necessary. That is, if Human Rights Day isn’t to be seen as anything more than an absolute joke.
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