Diversity and Inclusion

December 10: World Human Rights Day

December 8, 2023

By: MOSAIC Centre for Diversity

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

This is the first sentence of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On Dec. 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration. It has been 75 years since the international community gathered to show such an initiative to protect human rights.

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of person.”

 Article 3

We as human beings had to fight for so long for this recognition of human rights in an international realm, and we should remember that human rights as a concept are not given nor granted by any state. These rights belong to us without any condition or prerequisite. We have these rights simply existing as human beings. This means human rights are universal.

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

 Article 5

Although 75 years have passed, our inalienable rights are under attack every single day, as we are witnessing crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and turmoil happening all around the globe, as a result of systems of oppression such as colonialism, racism, sexism, and so on. We should remember that human rights cannot be put on hold or paused for a certain period of extraordinary or unprecedented times; they are inalienable.

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”

Article 20

As we see daily occurrences of human rights violations even after 75 years, it is vital we learn our rights and actively work to protect them in every realm. Learning your rights is the first step to building the courage to take a step to protect your rights. As human rights are an international concern, we should also be aware of international human rights violations and stand up for people all around the world.

Learn more with these resources:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UN’s Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

UN Human Rights Day- Know Your Rights!

The Illustrated Version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner

Canadian Human Rights Commission