A Universal Civil and Human Right
What images come to mind when you of think civil rights? The answer to that may be very different depending on where you are in the world and in which time period you were born. Do images of unjust discrimination, fierce protesting, and finally, change for the better from the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950s and 1960s pop up?
In America, we’ve come a long way from the days of segregation. The idea of two people taking drinks of water from separate fountains and sitting on opposite ends of the bus is almost a foreign concept. We’ve come a long way, but there are still miles left to go. Indications of discrimination may not be as outright as it once was in America, but it still exists and is directed toward every race — some more than others.
In too many other parts of the world, basic civil rights, such as freedom of speech and the right to vote, are still only dreams. But no matter where in the world you are, the dream of full civil rights and equal treatment is one that I believe will be fought for until it is procured. Luckily, we do live in a world where there are laws regarding human rights, but not everyone acts on or enforces these laws.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General assembly on December 10, 1948. It was adopted at the end of World War II, and it is thought to be the foundation of international human rights law. Under this declaration, no person should be discriminated against because of their nationality, religion, gender, etc.
The UDHR has inspired more than 80 human rights treatises. Doctrines such as these are the foundation and first stepping stones to civil rights freedoms to all, but, as always, it’s going to take a gathering of people from all backgrounds to make an impact.
Think back to the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:
There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.
Conscience led one man to rise as a leader and bring together others to follow him down the path to equality. Today, we have more resources than ever before to reach out and follow our consciences.