International Human Rights Day 2009

Happy International Human Rights Day!  On December 10, 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global proclamation on human rights and the “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

The most recent edition of the World Savvy Monitor discusses the international standards that declare access to water as a human right.  Is water both a commodity and a human right? Sign the Article 31 petition today to add the right to water to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its 61st anniversary!

The World Savvy Monitor edition on the Global Status of Women celebrates notable human rights milestones in relation to women’s rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and explores why we need to take a human rights approach to gender equality.  However, as with most areas of human rights abuse, the challenge lies in moving beyond theory into practice and law.  For example, we discussed how although Afghanistan is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to the International Criminal Court, real commitment to human rights protection has been uneven to nonexistent in practice. Still, hope also lies in President Obama’s leadership since he signed of an executive order in January to end CIA secret detention camps and ban of coercive interrogations of detainees.

Today eight organizations based in Europe, including the Unrepresented Nations and People Organization (UNPO), will present a Manifesto they compiled covering issues of trafficking, development, gender rights, and migration.  For this year’s Human Rights Day, the UN is focusing on advocating non-discrimination.  What will you do today to help end discrimination?

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