Monday is Human Rights Day

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From Northfield peace activist Judith Stoutland comes this reminder:  

Monday, December 10 is   Human Rights Day throughout the world. Commemorating the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Dec. 1950, the day draws attention to the this significant document and to the importance of   supporting the rights of all people. (http://www.un.org/events/humanrights/2007/hrphotos/declaration%20_eng.pdf)

Under the 2012 theme  “My Voice Counts”, the rights of women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized are emphasized, They are encouraged to make their voices heard in public life and in political decision-making.    In the past two years articles 19, 20, and 21  (the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and participation in government) have been exercised in many parts of the world to change or to begin a change in economic, political and social inequality. 

How can people of the world who have such varied cultures and beliefs come to any agreement on human rights?   Perhaps it is because these rights embody what we know as the Golden Rule:   “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” And this basic principle is shared by most of the religious and ethical systems of the world.

Speeches, conferences and programs have been planned in many places.   But even if many of us cannot attend a formal observance, we can take a few moments Monday to consider the human rights and freedoms that we have.  We can think about ways we might be a part of making these rights stronger universally and here in Northfield.


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