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Did You Know?

Posted by Schevus on December 10, 2008

Today is apparently Human Rights Day. I will be honest, I did not know until my calendar told me so. Did you?

Human rights is not an area that I have ever been very active or involved with. Living in America we normally (barring an increase of problems in the past eight years) do not have to deal with such issues personally, so they seem abstract and foreign and therefore not as relevant. This is how it seems to me at least, and I know that is wrong.

I do know that human rights is a serious issue around the world and I am fairly knowledgeable about one of the big players on the world stage – Amnesty International. Amnesty International attempts to mobilize large numbers of people in various ways to bring an end to human rights violations. This can be accomplished through demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, and other activities.

They often come under fire from those who they are targeting for not taking “mitigating circumstances” into account, but I think it is probably good that they are impartial to these concerns. It is easy to twist anything to sound like a mitigating circumstance, as we have seen here in America recently.

Another organization of note would be the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This organization does not get the publicity of Amnesty International (few UN agencies get the publicity that they should), but is also important on the world stage.

So on this Human Rights Day take a few moments to educate yourself on the issue.


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