Human Rights Day

This year’s Human Rights Day theme is ‘Equality - Reducing inequalities’.

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Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December every year. The day celebrates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The international community, in response to the ongoing devastation stemming from the horrors and genocides of World War II, came together as one body to declare that every human being has worth and possesses, by virtue of their humanity, common rights and responsibilities.

As Christians we may note many echoes from our own tradition. We gather together as one Body, and we affirm, as part of our worship and welcoming to all people, that everyone is created in the image of God. Everyone is therefore to be loved as we love God and one another. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to do the work of loving God and Neighbour within our daily lives. Similarly, Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote much of the Universal Declaration writes:

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world... Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

So today, 70 years on from the Declaration, we are still called, as people who are part of a universal humanity, and as Christians who are members of the Body of Christ working towards the Kingdom, to promote human rights at home, in our families, workplaces and our daily and political life. This year’s Human Rights Day theme is ‘Equality - Reducing inequalities’. Some of the areas of inequality we may like to change through our small, though powerful lives are:

Domestic Work:
Women in Australia do more domestic work at home than men, often up to three times the amount. This inequality can be addressed easily, today, in our homes.

Youth and Young Adult Inequality:
More young people than ever are in temporary or ‘gig economy’ positions without a secure financial future. This has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. We can advocate for youth, talking with friends who are employers or business owners, to make a choice to try and employ youth in secure positions where possible. We can vote for representatives and parties who are committed to addressing this inequality.

These small changes, at home and in the world, will promote human rights for all people made in the Image of God.

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