You don’t need to be a front line human rights defender to become involved in human rights. You may already be involved in human rights work or you may never have considered becoming involved before. There’s always more to learn and know, always something to do. Here are a few suggestions of things you could do today, on Human Rights Day, or afterwards.
- Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Or listen to a recording of it being read by Eleanor Roosevelt. Or download an illustrated version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Illustrated.
- Learn about other human rights conventions, covenants, declarations, treaties, etc., including the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
- Take The Elders’ human rights quiz & find out how well you know what rights we do & don’t have!
- Take a look at the Constitution of Jamaica, including Chapter 3: Charter of Fundamental Rights & Freedoms. Consider what protections of human rights it provides for.
- Find out which human rights treaties in the United Nations system your country has signed & ratified.
- Support a local, national, regional or international human rights organization. Support can come in different forms. Join. Volunteer. Participate in their campaigns. Attend their events. Make a donation. Read & share their literature. Follow them on social media.
- Speak out. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Call a radio programme. Start a conversation in your family, community, social group, church, organization. Attend a demonstration or protest with your poster/sign/placard.
- Learn about the life and work of people who have stood for the protection of human rights.
At different times. In different places. For different reasons.
- Plan a visit to Parliament or court. Both are institutions which are supposed to play a role in the protection of human rights.
- Donate your time in ways that support people who have experienced human rights abuses or who are at risk. Stay informed. Follow organizations & individuals on social media. Listen to/watch news reports. Read the newspapers. It’s impossible to follow or be involved in every issue, so choose one or a few to focus on.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights!
Happy Human Rights Day!