6 December, 2014

Some reasons to celebrate Human Rights Day

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Category: European Action Week, Human Rights, Opinion
Gubaz Koberidze
5 pm


Wirtten by: Dariusz Grzemny

Why should we celebrate the Human Rights Day?‘Human Rights 365’ is a slogan of this year’s Human Rights Day, which emphasizes that every day is a human rights day. To be honest, I do not realize it every day (although I try to), like many people I suppose. It is true that we tend to think about human rights when we feel our human rights were violated or we see and hear that somebody’s rights are not respected. On the other hand, why should we think about them each day? All in all, they belong to us anyway, they are a part of us like our personality, character, and way of being; simply because we are humans.

  • Because during last 12 months only in Europe we have witnessed many achievements in the sphere of human rights. Just to name a few: In April the European Court of Justice  invalidated the EU’s data retention law, calling into question whether blanket data retention can ever be consistent with human rights requirements – a big success for digital rights groups; Six weeks before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Russian President Vladimir Putin released a number of high-profile prisoners, including members of Pussy Riot, the Greenpeace Artic 30 and Mikhail Khodorkovski; more countries in Europe decided on the legislation supporting same-sex marriage or gender neutral civil partnerships, like England and Wales and Estonia; more countries joined the No Hate Speech Movement, so we have been constantly growing. There is more, but no space to mention all of them.

  • Because it is a day to remind us how much it is still there to do in order to promote and protect human rights. There are many armed conflicts going on in the world with thousands of people dying, being injured or suffering from the consequences of war. There are totalitarian regimes that suppress people’s human rights. More challenges appear every day.

  • Because it is a chance to take care of one of the most fundamental human rights value – SOLIDARITY, a chance to develop concern for and connection to the lives of other people, especially the ones who suffer from human rights violations.

  • Because the No Hate Speech Movement gained a lot of recognition in the world and has become “THE” Campaign of young people (and probably of The Council of Europe). It had also succeeded in mobilizing young people to work for human rights online – a small yet important step to make sure that everyone can feel safe in the online space where all human rights should be enjoyed

  • Because, not to forget, on 10 December the UN General Assembly adopted the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Because celebrating is human, so are human rights; what is more, celebrating is a human right contained in, for example, the right to rest and leisure

It is difficult to celebrate human rights every day, but it is essential to work for them every minute of our lives. It will not be easy, in many cases, but the results of this work may be life-saving for many. This also applies when we try to work for human rights from behind our computer screens. The world online is where real people are, with real problems, including the ones resulting from human rights violations. On this day, it is good to remind ourselves why we are doing all this.

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