Every year on 10 December, the world celebrates Human Rights Day, the day when, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
So, today we highlight a very important day, the 74th Human Rights Day. The 2022 Human Rights Day slogan is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All” and the call to action is #StandUp4HumanRights.
These three words can mean very different things depending on background, culture etc. Universality is a main principle of Human Rights, but the reality is different. We have asked individuals from different backgrounds about what Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All meant for them, here is a selection of a few.
“Being able to say, feel and do what you want in life without impeding anyone else’s path in their becoming, and striving for their goals/dreams while also co-living, peacefully and in harmony with other whom you might disagree with. Respecting each other, and treating everyone at same level-ground, fair and as brothers and sisters. As a human being.”
“For me it is to have the right to do, be and act as you wish, without fearing for your life.”
“For me, Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All must be seen in terms of breaking down barriers and guaranteeing the distribution of wealth, opportunities and privileges within a society ensuring that individuals can develop as agents of social transformation with the objective to seek equality under the recognition of our differences and respect for [different] cultures.”
“It’s a given but definitely nothing we can take for granted.”
“Fundamental principle of human rights, it’s about non-discrimination having being able to access rights equally and knowing how to access rights and what rights relate to you. There is a freedom in knowing how you’re protected. You feel safer knowing your rights are protected.”
“In a world full of unique human beings, dignity, freedom and justice are the tools of hope that unite us all. But it matters not, if laws are established to effect this…..it matters all, if the laws established are promoted, protected and fully implemented as this means a second chance at life for all.”
“For me Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for all means being able to live your life without any restrictions of your basic rights, treating all people equally and standing up against discrimination on any grounds. It means being able to criticize without fearing the consequences, trusting in the rule of law and in fair trials, and enabling everyone to make the best out of one’s life.”
“[It] Should be there as part of the basic human rights of all and serve as the foundation for a worthy and respectful living.”
“Dignity, freedom and justice mean to me the three inalienable rights to which every human being should be entitled in any context.”
“That everybody should be respected no matter what their status, race, nationality and all of that is, by people of other States and by their own governments and peoples. I think freedom for me is the right to practice what I want to do or think or feel in life as long as it does not violate other people’s rights. As for justice, I believe that it is mostly on governments and lawmakers to ensure that we are all entitled to the same treatment as others that is free of bias and discrimination. And that governments have to create the capacity for a society to demand this justice. Not only in court proceedings but also in the manifestation of their government structure (read it as democratic/Liberal government or whatever satisfies people and their needs).”
“Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All – These values are of course what we work for and it is such a privilege to do this as a day job. We know how much is lacking and how many human rights defenders that we meet in our work dedicate their lives to working for human rights with not only no pay but at considerable risk. So, as I see it, the privilege that we have comes with the responsibility to make the most of the resources that we have at RWI, and in our networks, to contribute as well as we possibly can.”
“For me dignity, freedom and justice is respecting the dignity of all humans, no matter what choices they make so long as their choices respect others. Every person have rights regardless of their sex, gender, age or nationality . Human rights for me are a set of shared rights that connect people with each others and it’s embedded in the rights to have political, social, economic and cultural rights.”
“Dignity, freedom and justice for all means everyone is respected, has spaces to express themselves and has equal access to fair system that can solve dispute.”
“Human rights are not a privilege: they belong to every human being.”
Featured picture: Markus Spiske
Read more about previous Human Rights Days!