Human Rights Day was yesterday on the 10th of December. This is the day The United Nation General Assembly’s proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This global pronouncement of universal human rights was a major achievement of the United Nations and one of their first. This day is normally marked by political conferences and cultural events dealing with human rights. There’s an annual prize given in the field of human rights by the United Nations. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded as well. This year, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Many NGOs and governmental organizations that are active in human rights commemorate the day in their own ways.
However, Human Rights Day is often also marked by protests and a look into all the the work that still needs to be done in regards to human rights. Massacres by ISIS are a daily occurrence, and world women’s rights are an exception, not a rule. The fight for human rights is an ongoing struggle so yesterday should also a moment to look at some of the issues we are facing today.
Nearly three years ago Syrians left their the country when the Syrian civil war began, over the last three years the number of refugees has increased to over 3 million. And Syria is not the only country where this happening, Ukraine is being attacked by its neighbor Russia and the number of people displaced by that war has increased from 10,000 to 260,000. There are millions of other people from other countries that do not belong to a state. Acquiring citizenship in any country is difficult and often even more difficult if you are coming from war-torn regions. It is estimated that there are 10 million people in the world today that do not have the human rights protection of a nationality and one third of them are children.
It is also estimated that there are up to 36 million people living as slaves in the world today. In India, a country of 1.2 billion, it is estimated that over 1% of the population lives in slavery. In Haiti that number is doubled.