On December 10, people around the world will stand up for equality, justice and human dignity by celebrating International Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in response to the events of World War II and the continuing colonialism that was rife at the time. The Declaration contains thirty articles on human rights that remain as relevant today as they were seven decades ago. The articles encompass a wide range of basic rights, including freedom of association and freedom of speech 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.
With rising incidents of hate crimes, shrinking democratic spaces, worsening environmental and economic turmoil and violence, we are reminded that every day must be a day to uphold human rights. As voices of hate and discrimination become more emboldened, we are reminded that it is our responsibility as global citizens to stand up to injustice everywhere.
As we reflect on our own Equality Statement, here are some suggestions for how your local can promote international human rights and mark December 10:
- Educate yourself and your local on human rights issues with CUPE workshops, including Human Rights – An Introduction and Anti-oppression/Anti-racism
- Read the UN Report on Canada’s human rights record
- Visit the UN website to learn more about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its history, and events being held around the world
- Invite a speaker on human rights to your local meeting
- Recognize someone in your local or community who has contributed to improving human rights
- Form a committee on human rights in your local, and
- Put up a notice board to promote human rights activities, events, news and issues