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International Human Rights Day

Silence never won rights. They are not handed down from above; they are forced by pressures from below.
~ Roger Nash Baldwin

Today we celebrate International Human Rights Day, marking the 63rd anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is a time to be truly inspired on behalf of people around the world as we learn to stand united for basic rights for every man, woman and child in our human family, regardless of countries, cultures, or borders.

As UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay has stated, “In 2011, human rights went viral.”

During the course of this extraordinary year, she notes, “The very idea of  ‘power’ shifted. It was wielded not just by mighty institutions in marble buildings, but increasingly by ordinary men, women, and even children, courageously standing up to demand their rights.”

The promotion and protection of global human rights became a priority following World War II, when world leaders promised to ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust would never be repeated. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born from the wounds of the Holocaust, which shocked the world and gave birth to the word genocide.

As we commemorate this day, it is up to us to ensure that promise is kept. You and I well know that monstrous human rights violations and genocide are still an ongoing fact of life for countless millions of men, women and children around the world.

On this Human Rights Day, be a part of the solution. We must pressure our leaders to make Human Rights a reality for everyone.

Write letters in the giant Amnesty International Write for Rights marathon.

Support the Free Tibet movement (here, too).  Urge Obama to veto the ghastly 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

Let your representatives know that you will not be silenced.

It is time to unite and demand that every country uphold the declaration agreed to 63 years ago.

 

ps:  In honor of Human Rights Day today, Amnesty International will premiere Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International on Facebook. The 4-disc collection – set for release on January 24, 2012, in North America and January 30 internationally – contains 76 newly recorded Bob Dylan songs by more than 80 artists. Chimes of Freedom can be pre-ordered starting today!  Go here.

And if you “Like” Amnesty International USA on Facebook today, you will be able to stream the entire collection for a 24-hour period beginning at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • December 10, 2011, 11:58 am Shari

    It’s shameful that the USA can’t even abide by these rights.
    I am holding these rights as sacred, and my belief that they can become what the world lives by.