December 10 marks Human Rights Day, a day to commemorate the United Nations adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Declaration, drafted by world leaders, lays out the fundamental rights of all humans to be universally protected, regardless of race, gender, nationality, religion, or anything else, from the right to freedom from slavery to the right to education. Human Rights Day was formally accepted in 1950.
So, in honor of its 65th birthday, we’re celebrating the idea of rights for every person on Earth. Because, let’s face it, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Here are three ways you can get involved in Human Rights Day.
It sounds easy because it is! By being aware of the issues going on in the world, you set yourself up to be a better advocate for those in need. Not sure what constitutes as a human rights issue or violation? Here is a list that provides more information for each human rights issue recognized by the U.N. In addition, paying attention to media coverage of human rights issues will keep you up to date on any major developments in different movements.
Get Involved Locally
It can be intimidating to sit back and look at the big picture of human rights globally, and it can also be hard to relate to the issues facing people thousands of miles away. Fortunately, human rights organizations and advocacy groups exist in almost every corner of the U.S. To find a local group, choose a cause you’re interested in and a quick Google search with your hometown (for example: hunger relief organizations in N.Y.C.) should provide tons of opportunities to volunteer and otherwise get behind a cause.
Choose a Human Rights Role Model
From Martin Luther King, Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter and Malala Yousafzai, there are plenty of inspiring activists. Read more about the efforts of some of the greatest human rights leaders and dedicate some time or some funds to backing the cause or causes they stood or stand for. For example, Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism on behalf of women’s right to education. If this is a cause that sparks a fire within you, check out the film He Named Me Malala (available on digital HD, VOD, and DVD on Dec. 15), based on the true story of the teenager and her fight for justice. Then pledge your support #withMalala on social media. Your passion might just inspire others to get involved in the fight for human rights, too.