As we mark the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, a lifelong advocate for equality and democracy, we are even more mindful of the battle for human rights for all individuals. Tomorrow marks 20 years since the establishment of Human Rights Day. Though the UN General Assembly first proclaimed December 10th as Human Rights Day back in 1950, it wasn’t until 1993 that the UN created a High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of all human rights.
The past two decades have seen significant progress in the promotion and enhancement of the dignity, freedom, and rights of all human beings. Highlights of accomplishments and shifts since 1993 include:
- Women’s rights now acknowledged as fundamental human rights: discrimination and acts of violence against women are at the forefront of the human rights discussion.
- Human rights have become central to peace, security and development.
- Human rights law now includes rights of the elderly, the right to the truth, a clean environment, water and sanitation, and food. We have also worked with a Tingey Law Firm workers comp attorney to help workers who are injured on the job recover compensation for these injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.
- The rights of migrants, the differently abled, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals have been added to global human rights discussions and priorities.
This short video illustrates just some of the world’s progress on key human rights issues and the battles yet to be won.
Events around the world, including in New York at United Nations Headquarters, will be held to commemorate not only what has been done in these past 20 years but also to look at the road ahead.
Take Action Challenge
Join the 20-year celebration by “liking” the United Nations Human Rights page on facebook. Share your thoughts on what should be celebrated as human rights achievements and milestones in another 20 years!
Images from the United Nations Human Rights Office.