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National and Universal Human Rights Month

December is the annual month to recognize justice, equality, and dignity of all humans across the globe. In order to better observe and honor human rights, it is important to recognize what human rights are. The international document outlining the fundamental freedoms and human rights is outlined in the Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in Paris in 1948.


What are human rights?

Human rights can be defined as moral principles and standards that are believed to pertain to every individual person. The thirty outlined human rights can be found at the United Nations website (link: www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/). Some of the human rights include: the right to be free of discrimination, the right to equality, and the right to be innocent until proven guilty.


How to observe human rights month:

  • Model kindness, respect, equality, and dignity of others:

  • Use inclusive and respectful language

  • Be aware and understand individual biases

  • Respect others experiences; dignity and worth of persons

  • Engage in social media:

  • Share information on human rights issues; both National and Universal

  • Make posts and tag human rights social media campaigns (i.e. #StandUp4HumanRights, #UniversalHumanRights, #HumanRights)

  • Be aware of human rights history:

  • Read historical texts, articles, and watch documentaries on impactful events on human rights


Some materials to read and/or watch on human rights:


Books:

  • Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights, by Jo Becker

  • Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, by Kevin Bales

  • Masses in Flight: The Global Crisis of Internal Displacement, by Roberta Cohen and Francis M. Deng

  • The Evolution of International Human Rights, by Paul Gordon Lauren

  • War Crimes: Brutality, Genocide, Terror, and the Struggle for Justice, by Aryeh Neier

Movies:

  • The Uncondemned: a film about lawyers and activists in Rwanda fighting for rape to be recognized as a war crime

  • Suited (HBO): a film on a Brooklyn tailoring company providing suites for anyone along the gender spectrum

  • Do Not Resist: depicts the militarization of American police forces

  • Hooligan Sparrow: depicts Ye Haiyan’s activism against the sexual abuse of young girls by school headmaster’s

  • Sonita: a documentary of an Afghan teenage refugee in Iran who dreams of becoming a rapper in an area where female artists cannot sing solo




Resources:

Human Rights Watch:

www.hrw.org/recommended-reading#


National Day Calendar:

www.nationaldaycalendar.com/universal-human-rights-month-december/


The United Nations:

www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/).

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