We have seen our share of cruelty and hate. We can do better. That’s why the world is observing Universal Human Rights Month during December. This month is a reminder that the United Nations General Assembly codified the basic human rights of every person. It’s also a time to reflect on the way we treat others, and to do what we can in the fight for equality.
Universal Human Rights Month timeline
- December 9, 2001
Human Rights Week began
President George W. Bush declared the first Human Rights Week (it has since become a monthlong worldwide holiday).
- December 4, 1950
The UN expanded its role
The General Assembly invited all member states and other interested organizations to celebrate Human Rights Day.
- December 10, 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The General Assembly of the United Nations outlined the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which we're entitled.
How to Observe Universal Human Rights Month
Reread the Bill of Rights
Research what these freedoms mean to you. This time of understanding also honors the work of those who brought them into existence.
Do some volunteering
Organizations such as Amnesty International (a charity that works to support and spread awareness of human rights) are always looking for volunteers. Do your part to help protect others.
Give back to your community
Help those who are hurting in your own community. After all, to start changing the world, sometimes you just need to start locally.
3 Humbling Facts About Universal Human Rights Month
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasizes human rights — regardless of gender, age, race, political affiliation, or sexual preference.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into more than 500 languages — more than any other document in the world.
Causes for celebration
Cultural events and exhibitions take place — all surrounding human rights issues.
Why Universal Human Rights Month is Important
It allows us to reflect
Human Rights Month is a powerful holiday, as it allows us to look back on the ways we’ve treated our fellow human beings.
It reminds us of our ideals
These include individual freedoms which we must fight to protect.
It empowers us
The principles in the Declaration of Independence are still relevant today. This fact should empower each of us to stand up for ourselves, our own rights, and for the rights of others.