A day to reflect on how fragile and unevenly distributed the rights that we take for granted really are.
I’d never read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights before. I don’t think I’d even heard of it. And after I read it, I was unsure of what it really meant. So I watched “The Story of Human Rights” at youthforhumanrights.org. The movie has three segments. The first part shows how little the average person knows about their rights. The second is a quick history of the origin of human rights. I don’t know how accurate it is, and it’s directed at children, so it probably simplifies a lot, but it was fun to watch. The third section explains what the UDHR really is – a piece of paper. It has no power. So people are the ones who have to protect the rights of other people – not the law. It was really sobering to watch that segment.
After that, I watched all 30 of the PSAs – one for each human right listed. They are each a minute or less, but some are better done than others. I would recommend these ones first:
#4 no slavery (this was chilling, trigger warning)
#6 universal rights (very powerful, trigger warning)
#8 protected by law
#11 innocent until proven guilty (really well done. brings in a racial aspect.)
#14 right to asylum (sad)
#19 freedom of expression (beautiful)
#21 right to democracy (cute)
#22 social security (I guess I never knew what social security was until I watched this)
#25 food and shelter for all (this is ridiculously good)
#26 the right to education (beautiful)
#28 fair and free world (a little girl says a rhyme about the kind of world she imagines. it just pulls at the heartstrings)
#29 responsibility (more children, more pulling at heartstrings)
I also watched videos on rights I’d never even thought about: a right to play, a right to democracy, copyright, freedom to move, right to ownership.
In honor of human rights day, I’m making donations to iabolish and vday. Iabolish is the anti-slavery organization that first showed me modern slavery exists. It is because of them that I ever became interested in human rights, and through that, animal rights. Vday calls itself “A global organization to end violence against women and girls.” Donations go towards “City of Joy,” an oasis for sexual assault survivors that they are building in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. If you don’t know about the gender violence occurring in the DRC, you should watch this interview with activist Christine Deschryver. Serious trigger warning.
If you can’t donate (to these or other human rights charities), consider not eating meat for a day. Human Rights Watch calls slaughterhouse work the most dangerous work in the US.
Feel free to comment and say what you did this human rights day.