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: