The struggle for the respect of human rights transcends all frontiers, stresses Rene Wadlow* viagra professional in this December 10 reminder. Wadlow also reminds of the importance of human rights education.
10 December – Human Rights Day – marks the anniversary of 10 December 1948 when the UN General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
Since that day, as world citizens, we can take pride that we have contributed to the growth of a universal human rights movement. In all walks of life, brave individuals are standing up for their sisters and brothers who have been reduced to silence by oppression, poverty or injustice.
This struggle for the respect of human rights transcends all frontiers. The struggle is based on non-violence. Our only weapons are knowledge and the life force of conviction. Human dignity must be protected by the power of knowledge.
Therefore we are devoted to education for human rights. The aim of human rights education is to create a universal culture in which there is understanding, respect, and friendship among all peoples.
Human rights education is an important tool to break the cycle of humiliation, abuses of power and violence in which too many people are caught. There is still much to be done in all countries to develop this culture based on human rights.
There is a need to overcome racial discrimination, xenophobia, gender-based discrimination, and negative stereotypes. Schools have an important role to play, but education is broader than schools. We must use all the instruments we have available through media, informal education centers, cultural activities, and non-governmental action to develop these new positive attitudes and values.
Defending human rights requires an objective analysis of a situation, an analysis which is not colored by political motivations or ethnic or religious prejudices. Once such an objective analysis is made, then we must speak out to governments and other holders of power to bring their policies and practices in line with high universal standards.
Speaking out requires courage and occasionally even heroism. Human rights are at a cross road. No longer just a reference to violations of specific rights, they are becoming a way of life, a social contract that fulfils people’s aspirations to life in dignity and democracy. People want to know that they are in full control of their lives and that their society embodies their uniqueness as individuals.
In human history, there have been periods when there is a collective response to new challenges and thus new ways of organizing thought and society. Most of the world’s great religious and philosophical systems were formulated at about the same time: Confucianism and Taoism in China, Hinduism-Buddhism-Jainism in India, Zoroastrianism in Persia, the Prophetic impulse in Judaism, Socrates-Plato and the mystery schools in Greece, and the Druid teachings among the Celts.
We are in such a period today as we face the challenges of a world society and a globalized economic system. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us a base for a universalistic ethic, one that includes all of humanity. The Declaration recognizes that each individual is a member of the same human family and is linked in harmony with each other. We share a common destiny. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us a common vision for a just and cooperative future.
* Rene Wadlow, Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association for World Education.