Universal Human Rights Declaration @70: Standing Up for Human Rights

Today is the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations offered a declaration celebrating this 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Bachelet calls us to breathe new life into the declaration. She says: “It is, I firmly believe, as relevant today as it was when it was adopted 70 years ago. It provides us with the basis for ensuring equal rights for groups, such as LGBTI people, whom few would even dare name in 1948. But, 70 years after its adoptions, the work the Universal Declaration lays down for us is far from over. And it will never be.”

Leading up to this 70th anniversary, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights organized “Shine Your Light for Human Rights” around the world, These Shine the Light events illustrate the wide range of human rights issues affecting people, communities and our planet. They also illustrate intersectionality—the interconnected nature of human rights.

A key part of celebrating this 70th anniversary is the call for each person to take action. Everyone of us can take action in several ways—to promote, to engage and to reflect—with this #StandUp4HumanRights campaign. So, please take some time to reflect upon what the principles of human rights mean to you, your family and friends, and to your community and country. And, then create your own message about human rights and #HumanRightsDay for sharing on social media by using the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights

In 2012, the Global Faith and Justice Project was founded to amplify faith voices that protect human dignity and achieve equality for LGBTI people and their families. There is no question that the Universal Declaration for Human Rights adopted 70 years ago serves as both foundation and inspiration for this global project and its work. From its preamble, we affirm the “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. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Together we are building a world that is free and equal.