There are lots of important dates that can help foster reflection. One of the events happening this year centers around a subject that has never been more relevant: human rights. If you’re looking to add an event to your calendar to further your social awareness, consider taking some time to observe the upcoming Universal Human Rights Month.
There are many events that people can turn to if they’re searching for ways to give back and act with social goodness in mind. Particularly in December, the charitable spirit hits us a little harder as we’re reminded to be gracious and grateful. Coincidentally, December is also the month we officially recognize universal human rights.
If you’re considering ways you can turn your focus outward and increase your gratitude and goodwill during the month of December, observing Universal Human Rights Month is a great choice. Here’s what to keep in mind about this important month-long holiday:
The History of Universal Human Rights Month
You may not have known about this holiday, as it’s not the kind of event that allows for sell-ing merchandise and spoiling loved ones like Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Yet, Universal Human Rights Month has its own unique history.
The history of this event is longer than you likely expect. The beginning starts on December 10, 1948—the first official recognition of fundamental freedoms and rights that each person is owed as identified by the United Nations. This December, we’ll be observing the 70th an-niversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These rights are deserved by every person irrespective of their identity, such as their race, sex, religion, political views, or sexual orientation.
As the United Nations began to expand and invited more countries to join in working to-gether to create a more stable and just world, the UN also invited its members to recognize what was then observed as Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has now been translated into over 500 different languages—a testament to the universality of the world’s push towards a more equal future.
How did we manage to get to the current month-long recognition of Universal Human Rights? That change was hastened by George W. Bush, who extended Human Rights Day into a week-long observation then known as Human Rights Week. It’s this change that ultimately led up to the observation of Universal Human Rights Month.
What Can You Do to Observe Universal Human Rights Month?
It might seem like this event is something challenging to observe in more than simply recog-nition of its existence alone. Yet, in reality, there is so much that we can do to make the val-ue of universal human rights part of our daily lives, even if at least by starting with the month of December. Human rights are a crucial value we must always take seriously as something to feel gratitude for while also pushing to spread this value wide and far.
Having rights is a quality of our lives that offers security and freedom—something people in many countries still desperately lack. Without simply devolving into a sense of sadness over the suffering that still exists in our world, Universal Human Rights Month gives us the perfect opportunity to put our values into action. Here are some options for taking a little time to remind yourself and others that universal human rights are an integral part of our world.
- Study the roots of the concept of humans rights: the comfort we take in knowing we have many rights that offer us a free and respected existence was not something that always ex-isted. The idea of human rights inalienable from the individual has its roots in the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s work as well as the Italian philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Brushing up on the beginning of human rights is a great way to realize how valuable of an idea it is.
- Give back to charity: December is always a great time to send a little of the money we plan to spend on gifts and good times and support a good cause as well. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Human Rights First are all champions of protecting and furthering human rights both in the United States and the world at large.
- Think globally, act locally: this famous phrase is meant to give a simple reminder that sometimes the most good we can do is actually right at home. For recognizing Universal Human Rights Month, find some ways you can contribute to good causes in your own community.
Here at the Law Office of David A. King, we know that the betterment of our world depends on valuing and furthering human rights. This December, get your good deeds in by taking a little time to join us in recognizing Universal Human Rights Month in whatever ways you can.