As humans, in a just world, we are born equal. But the world is not just. So many are denied their basic human rights on the basis of race, of skin colour, of gender, of religion, of sexual orientation, and of beliefs and practices.
And every day begins, for so many, with the reminders of the inequality of their lives, of the unequal distribution of resources, of the horrors of conflict, of poverty and of political powerlessness.
Here, in Australia, we can reflect on the two hundred years of European occupation and of the systemic injustices, genocide and denial of rights to this country’s original inhabitants. We might also reflect on what we can do about it.
Today, we recognise Human Rights Day and the fight against inequality. This day, of all days, gives us the opportunity to reflect upon our own practices in our own lives, and of the impacts of our economic privilege on the lives and the basic rights of so many, so less privileged.
Human Rights Day stems from the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – on the 10th of December 1948. This document outlines the inalienable rights of every person: that all are “born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
In an unjust world, Human Rights Day provides us with hope for a better world, represented by core values such as shared humanity, simple connection and the shared bounty of this planet.
If you would like to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit the Human Rights Day website at: https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day
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