Tag Archives: human rights

human rights day 2013

Human Rights Day continues the celebration of the 20th anniversary with 20 YEARS: WORKING FOR YOUR RIGHTS as its theme but with the emphasis on the future and identifying the challenges that lie ahead.

Human Rights Day is held on 10 December every year, the date the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

Human Rights Day is celebrated globally, at the headquarters of the High Commissioner’s office in Geneva, in New York and in more than 50 other countries.

This post was taken from United Nations Human Rights. To learn more information, click here.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Although we know that our readers come from all over the globe, we still thought that it would be fun to highlight this very American (and Canadian although they celebrate on a different day…) tradition.

For those who don’t know, the Thanksgiving tradition is attributed to the Pilgrims and Puritans who first came to the Americas in the early 1600s to escape from religious persecution. After successfully braving the unpredictable Atlantic and the unknown wilds of the Americas, they decided to set a day aside to recognize all the things they were thankful for–safety, new friends (the Native Americans), etc.

That’s the Thanksgiving story in a nutshell.

In honor of the Thanksgiving tradition, we have decided to name a few things we are thankful for. Feel free to add to our list.

This Thanksgiving we are thankful for….

  • Our lives, liberty and our ability to pursue happiness
  • The ability to live in a country where freedom of speech is recognized
  • A national government that is very active in promoting global recognition of certain fundamental human rights
  • A national leader that is committed to developing programs to combat human trafficking happening both within the borders of the US and without it
  • The numerous individuals and NGOs around the world who have dedicated themselves to the social justice movement
  • And you our readers, because without you we would have never found the motivation to find something to post each and every day for an entire year (what were we thinking?).

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

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An Update on Syria

About a month ago we published a post entitled, “So what’s up with Syria?” In that post we talked about the background behind the current Syrian Crisis, the human rights issues and what we can do to help. For today’s post we decided to do a brief update on the situation. In short…the crisis is still ongoing…and there is no sign of it letting up anytime soon. As the violence continues to escalate, more and more Syrian lives are at risk. In fact, just earlier this week over 80 women and children (primarily) from a single village were massacred (Read more about it at the BBC News).

So let’s not forget about Syria. There are still a lot of horrors taking place there, even talk of a possible civil war. The Syrian people need our support– let’s continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

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So What’s Up With Syria?

Earlier this year, stories of bombings and violence in Homs, Syria were all over the news. Now, almost 2 months after the first stories emerged, the Syrian Crisis seems like it has almost been forgotten. It is almost as if the crisis never occurred, when it actually never ended.

So what’s going on?

After almost half a century under the same regime, the Syrians want democracy. The peaceful protests that were started to show dissatisfaction with the current regime, turned into riots and now, the violence has escalated into a full-blown war (well not quite but almost) between the protesters and the current government.

What most people don’t know however, is that this isn’t all about political unrest–this isn’t just about one corrupt, power hungry group trying to usurp power from another equally corrupt group–the Syrian Crisis is about human rights violations.

Syria has one of the WORST track records, for human rights violations in the world (cite). According to The Human Rights Watch, the Syrian government “has been engaged in a brutal crackdown against demonstrators involving commission of  crimes against humanity, such as arbitrary detention, torture, and the killings of thousands of civilians” (cite). Now, as a result of the violence, thousands of civilians have been displaced, kidnapped, tortured, and even murdered by the current government….and things aren’t getting any better.

So what can we do?

Keep talking and remembering what is going on in Syria. The more people talk about what is going on, the more pressure our government and other world governments will feel to make sure that appropriate steps are taken to ensure the safety of the Syrian people. Let’s make sure this doesn’t turn into another “world regret.”

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The Forgotten People

As we go about our daily lives, it’s so easy to forget that there are millions of people living behind what could be analogized to a modern-day iron curtain in North Korea. Yes we could probably conjure up something to say about Kim Jong-il, his son Kim Jong-un or the recent rocket fiasco, but how often do we stop to think about the people–the ordinary everyday citizens–who call North Korea home?

According to Link, a non-profit committed to “redefining the North Korea crisis through creative storytelling, while providing emergency relief to North Korean refugees and pursuing an end to the human rights crisis,” there is a widespread “lack of fundamental freedom” in North Korea. North Koreans are indoctrinated from basically the time they leave their cradles to worship the dictatorial Kim family.

So what if someone decides that they don’t want to worship the Kim family because they disagree with the way the country is being run or because they think Kim Jong-un is a terrible leader? What happens to that thunder shaker? They get thrown into a political concentration camp along with their children and parents. Within these camps, the family is “overworked, tortured, raped or publicly executed.” Their chance of survival is very slim. Three generations punished, for the “crime” of one.

Life outside the camps however, isn’t much better. Continue reading

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Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

On April 7th, 1994, Rwanda experienced the worst genocide in modern-day history. In a span of 100-days, close to 1 million Rwandans were violently killed while the rest of the world turned and looked the other way. Today marks the genocide’s 18th anniversary. As we pause to reflect on what happened, let’s hope that this time we can actually stand by the words: “Never Again.”

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The Afghan Girls Who Live As Boys

Click the picture above to read an absolutely fascinating story about girls in Afghanistan who are forced by their parents to dress and live like boys. Some girls come out of this practice emotionally traumatized, but other claim that they actually benefit from being able to experience “freedoms they would never have had if they had lived as girls.” Whatever the response, this practice is being used to fuel the human rights discussion in Afghanistan about the inequalities between men and women. Read more about this practice at BBC News.

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