Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the General Assembly of United Nations. Thereafter in 1950, the UN called on all member States and organizations around the globe to commemorate World Human Rights Day on 10th December every year. The United Nations defines human rights as inter-related, inter-dependent and indivisible rights inherent to all human beings without discrimination of any nationality, ethnic origin, sex, religion, language, or caste and creed or any other status.

The UNHCR (United Nations Human Rights Commission) issues themes for the Day each year, and invites countries to integrate the broad themes into their country’s celebration of the day. The 2010 theme is “Human rights defenders who act to end discrimination”. Accordingly, this year the observance of the day will highlight and promote the achievements of human rights defenders and it will again emphasize the primary responsibility of the Governments to enable and protect their role. It has also been articulated by UN that it will strive to inspire a new generation of human rights defenders to speak up and take action to end discrimination in all of its forms whenever and wherever it is manifested.

“This Human Rights Day is an occasion to salute the courage and achievements of human rights defenders everywhere—and to pledge to do more to safeguard their work,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement posted on the UN website. Every citizen, as well as groups and organizations have the right to nominate an individual, a group or organization for the award until April 30 of each year.

India, like many other countries, celebrates the Human Rights Day each year with great fervor. The state of human rights in India has improved markedly since independence. This fact stays proven as Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi, a well-known human rights activist from India, was presented with the ‘2010 Human Rights Award of the city of Weimar’ in Germany. Weimer city’s municipal council has acknowledged Dr Raghuvanshi, founder of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), in his efforts for observation and assertion of fundamental rights of disadvantaged sections of society, such as women, children, dalits and indigenous minorities. The Friedrich Nauman Foundation for Liberty nominated Dr Raghuvanshi for the award. Another successful initiative by Dr Raghuvanshi is his conceptual design of ‘people-friendly villages’.
Another achievement for India this year was when The Rescue Foundation, a Mumbai based NGO that frees teenage girls from forced prostitution was presented with the 2010 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in Taipei. Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-Jeou awarded the prize to the group’s president, Triveni Balkrishna Acharya. The NGO frees about 300 girls each year, all victims of trafficking and prostitution. It also provides HIV tests and treatment, job training and emotional support to the rescued women. The Rescue Foundation is the fifth recipient of the annual award given by the not for profit, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The award comes with a cash grant of $100,000.

This Human Rights Day is celebrated on March 21 in South Africa, to mark The Sharpeville Massacre, when South African police opened fire on a crowd of black protesters, killing 69 people.

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