Advent Calendar – Day 9 – Human Rights Day

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Celebrating Human Rights Day Equality Hope Togetherness

You may be wondering why amongst all the holiday recipes and festive arts and crafts we’ve been posting so far we’re talking about human rights today. As it turns out, the 10th December is Human Rights Day, so-called because it marks the day in 1948 that the United Nations Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). As we head towards the end of what has been a rollercoaster of a year and to enjoying a Christmas that perhaps might feel a bit different for many of us, perhaps we can take the time to hit pause, reflect, and consider some wider issues.

At its basic level, the UDHR was a landmark document that outlined the fundamental rights all human beings should possess ‘regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status’. After the horror of WWII, it marked a major international intervention in ensuring human rights for all. Interestingly, even now it is the world’s most translated document, available in over 500 languages.

In light of the year we’ve had, the UN decided that this year’s theme would be ‘Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights’. COVID-19 has exacerbated the inequalities in society, whether that is in terms of deepening poverty, or entrenched discrimination. Given that we will have to rebuild once the dust has settled from the pandemic, the idea is that we do so with the intent to build a fairer, and I would add, more kind society. And so this festive season, when we’re all taking some time out to relax and maybe take stock of things, think about what you might do as an individual to help make the post-COVID future a more equal one.

Written by Natalia Fantetti, IES PhD Candidate




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