The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, in response to the Second World War and ongoing colonialism.
The declaration contains 30 articles on human rights that cover a wide range of basic rights. These include the right to form and join trade unions, the right to be free of discrimination based on sex, race and other protected grounds, as well as the right to health, education and equality, among other fundamental rights. These rights are key to binding us together as workers and as a global community.
2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the declaration, and it remains just as relevant today. The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered and worsened deep-seated inequities in Canada and across the globe. Hate, white supremacy and far-right political movements are on the rise and human rights are under attack. Governments are enabling capitalist greed, threatening access to basic needs like food, housing and medical care.
CUPE’s long-standing commitment to human rights recognizes that the struggles for human rights and workers’ rights are deeply connected, and that we share common goals with community movements for social justice. Working in coalition and mobilizing in our communities are the most effective ways to fight for change and achieve equity and respect for human rights.
Actions you can take:
- Learn more and educate others with CUPE’s resources on Indigenous, disability, 2SLGBTQI+, anti-racism and women’s issues.
- Learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its history.
- Invite a human rights defender to speak to members of your local at a virtual or in-person gathering.
- Form a human rights committee in your local.
- Recognize someone in your local or community who has contributed to defending human rights.
- Join local actions against racism, colonialism, homophobia, transphobia, gender-based violence, ableism and other forms of discrimination and violence.