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Human Rights Day – December 10

December 10, 2012
is Human Rights Day.  It serves an opportunity to celebrate the achievements made in securing fundamental human rights for people all over the world.  At the same time, it also calls for greater awareness to the ongoing fight for equal access for those who live in places where this right does not exist or is lacking.  The first Human Rights Day was on December 10, 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  The UDHR consists of a preamble and 30 articles, all of which set out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which people all over the world are entitled to, without any distinction.  Over time, it has been accepted as a contract between citizens and their governments.       

The theme for 2012 is “My Voice Counts.”  People are encouraged to make their voices heard in public life and to be included in political decision-making.  Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the UDHR accord people with the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, to peaceful assembly and association, and the right to a government based on the will of the people.  Unfortunately, there are still many parts of the world with no access to these fundamental rights.  Even in places like Ontario, where democracy is the will of the people, this continues to be tested.  The current political climate is one that sees government interference in the labour movement.  Legislation is being used to impose contracts on public sector workers essentially striping their rights to the collective bargaining process.  OPSEU’s Provincial Human Rights Committee (PHRC) stands in solidarity with its public sector counterparts as many struggle to achieve a fair and just contract.  

The committee also continues the fight for equal opportunity and preservation of human rights everywhere.  It celebrates all those who fight for their rights as well as the rights of others.   

For more information on the United Nations Human Rights Day, click here: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2012/about.shtmll


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