Happy Human Rights Day! Now get to work!

December 10, 2009

Human Rights Day - © AI
Human Rights Day - © AI

The date of December 10th was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) more than sixty years ago today. The declaration says that every human being deserves dignity, freedom and respect. It is the first blueprint for our global rights and continues to light the way for our work today.

Protecting human rights may sound like a major undertaking, but here are 5 simple things that you can do to stand up for our universal rights today – on Human Rights Day – and for as long as it takes until human rights are realized and protected in every corner of the world.

  1. Write a letter. Save a life.
  2. The Global Write-a-thon is the biggest Amnesty International event all year. It also uses one of the oldest (and most powerful) weapons of the human rights movement – writing letters.

    We’ve seen it work! Just last year, Ma Khin Khin Leh, a school teacher in Myanmar and Hana Abdi, a women’s rights advocate in Iran, were both released from prison soon after Write-a-thon letters overwhelmed their respective government offices.

    Your letters can bring justice and human rights back to people who need it.

  3. Make a video – tell your best human rights story.
  4. Each month, YouTube’s Video Volunteers program asks folks to make videos about organizations working on a particular issue. This month’s issue is human rights. To participate, make a promotional, less than 3-minute video about a human rights organization whose work you admire. Submit it by December 21, 2009. The top 3 videos will appear on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month.

  5. Urge elected officials and corporations around the world to take action on key human rights issues
  6. Send emails directly to those responsible for ongoing human rights violations involving issues such as poverty, indefinite detention, torture and the death penalty.

  7. Write a blog on human rights and help spread the word!
  8. Your opinion counts. Blog about a human rights issue that is important to you and help get others involved.

  9. Oh yeah, join Amnesty International!
  10. For nearly 50 years, our worldwide network of activists have helped free political prisoners from jail and bring brutal human rights abuses to an end.  By joining one of the largest and most effective human rights organizations in the world, you can stand on the front lines of change.