Friday, marks the end of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the theme ‘Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.’ The campaign is meant to raise awareness globally in order to prevent and eliminate violence especially against women.
The 16th day of the commemoration is also Human Rights Day; this year, it is be celebrated on 10 December under the theme ‘Equality – Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights.’ It is through the commemoration of the day that each and everyone is enlightened that they have the same rights! Human Rights are entitlements of individuals but also obligations of states.
On the day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to advocate for the rights of all human beings regardless of race, colour, sex, language, political, social background, among others.
Whether you know exactly who you are, or you are just starting your journey. At your core, you a human being. You exist in the world. And simply by existing you are entitled to certain basic rights: Your “Human Rights.” These are the same rights that every other human has; we all get these rights at birth without exception. Human Rights don’t have to be earned; they are yours. Regardless of who you are, or what you have done.
The deeper you face your own fears, emotions, thoughts the more vulnerable you become to your own self. The closer you get to your own paradigm, the more you find out that your ideas, beliefs, thoughts, behavior, values, actions are entirely yours to express. And the closer you get to the truth; that above all else, you have the same equal rights as every human being.
These Human Rights exist at three (3) basic levels: International, Constitutional and Statutory. You have heard of the right to shelter, or the right to food or the right to education. These are International Human Rights; they apply to every single person around the world. And they are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
You also have rights that are specific to your country, these are protected by your country’s Constitution. They include rights such as; the right to vote and the right to freedom of expression. These rights dictate how governments should treat people.
The third level is Statutory and these dictates how people should treat each other in certain situations. Unless there is a justifiable reason, these laws protect you from discrimination from other people and organizations. For example, if you are looking to rent a home, you should not be turned down because of your race. OR maybe if you are interviewing for a job, you shouldn’t be rejected because you are pregnant.
You have Human Rights, we all do. And we also have responsibilities to respect the rights of others, to recognize discrimination, to speak out against injustice and together to preserve dignity, respect and the experience of being human.