Monday, March 28, 2005

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I've long been interested in civil and human rights. Maybe it's not a coincidence that my birthday (December 10) is Human Rights Day. This comes from the fact that the U. N. adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on that date in 1948.

Eleanor Roosevelt was Chairwoman of the U. N. Human Rights Commission at the time and was instrumental in its writing and adoption. It is readily available online; a nice presentation is here .

It is well worth the time to read it. Article 1 is a wonderful statement on the true spirit of human rights. Read Article 5 - I'm struck that some of those fighting the war on terrorism seem to have forgotten this. Some provisions of the Patriot Act seem to violate Article 9. Articles 18, 19, and 20 are excellent and ones we should cherish, protect and strengthen here in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Here it is, more than 50 years later, and some Articles, such as 23, 24, 25 are still idealistic dreams for too many around the world. Even in the U. S., our economy has challenged progress in these areas, to say the least.

Let us work, hope and pray that this remains a vital document and that individuals and nations never lose commitment to the spirit of this Declaration.

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