Human Rights Day
December 10 Is Human Rights Day
Somewhere on the Internet there must be a great calender to keep track of days like this and what color ribbon to wear. After I said I would not, on AIDS Day I did indeed wear a red ribbon. Not that anyone noticed. So far as I can tell Human Rights Day doesn't involve wearing ribbons at all. It seems some kind of world-wide custom is in order to commemorate the signing on December 10 of 1948 the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
First things first, I appropriated the photograph from a page from a Japanese University. I'd be more specific except I don't have Japanese characters loaded on my computer and it wouldn't do any good if I had. I like the picture.
That December 10 is Human Rights Day might have escaped my notice except for an an placed in The Christian Science Monitor by the United Nations Association of the USA. The Monitor is a wonderful newspaper and their online presence is worth checking out for series like this one, African Peace Seekers. They also have a subscription to the Friday edition only which is what we take. I'm very fond of The Monitor because when I lived in Clarion I couldn't get NPR and didn't have a TV so the newspaper kept me in touch. I liked very much the humane perspective of the paper. I'm also fond of the UN Association because my brother and his wife were active in Model U.N. Assemblies when they were in high school. The Post-Gazette's Michael McGough writes on these student groups from time to time, for example in this wonderful piece.
Secretary-General of the U.N. Koffi Annan cuts to the chase in his remarks for this Human Rights Day:
"Let us be clear: torture can never be an instrument to fight terror, for torture is an instrument of terror. [...]Torture is obscene and so much favorable discussion of it, and how else to call it, our government's bald-faced hypocrisy gives me the creeps. It does seem helpful to take Annan at his word and to become acquanited or re-acquanited with a document that the United States of America vigorously championed. The U.N. has a wonderful page of the Thirty Articles with photo illustrations. The Preamble begins with this important truth:
Today, on Human Rights Day, let us recommit ourselves to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and let us rededicate ourselves to wiping the scourge of torture from the face of the earth."
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.Count down through the Thirty Aritcles, won't you, I feel certain you will register approval for each and every one. The time is now to rededicate ourselves to these priciples, especially so for Americans because the better nature of our identity as Americans is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Here's the page for Human Rights Day at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.