Human Rights Day 2019: Here’s how you too can make a difference

Fittingly, the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is “Youth Standing Up For Human Rights”.

Myupchar December 10, 2019 09:00:16 IST
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Human Rights Day 2019: Here’s how you too can make a difference

In just a few hours from now, the Nobel Committee will announce the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, and we’ll know if 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who’s won hearts with her Global Climate Strike, will also win this ultimate prize in recognition of her service to the world.

Every year since 1990, the Nobel Committee has announced the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, to coincide with the United Nations’ (UN) Human Rights Day.

Human Rights Day 2019 Heres how you too can make a difference

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

Fittingly, the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is “Youth Standing Up For Human Rights”.

Important day

After its inception in 1945, the United Nations (UN) resolved that the world needs to come together and resolve the issues that are holding people back, instead of fighting wars on a global scale. By 1948, a committee was specially tasked with chalking out the human rights that all signing members would work towards. 

The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948.

The declaration includes a broad range of rights which are political, civil, economic, social and cultural in nature, and although it isn’t a binding document, it has played a huge role in giving a platform to, supporting and celebrating the achievements of human rights activists from across the globe. The Nobel Peace Prize and the UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights are given on Human Rights Day, and many governmental and non-governmental organisations across the world come up with specific campaigns to celebrate the occasion as well.

Every year, the UN plans campaigns to commemorate Human Rights Day. This year’s theme is Youth Standing Up For Human Rights and it intends to encourage and mobilise young people to use their potential to promote and protect the rights of all.

Wondering how you can participate in celebrating Human Rights Day? Here are a few things you can do:

Stop bullying

Bullying, whether it is in school playgrounds or on the internet, can take a huge toll on both long- and short-term health. The bullied person can harbour a deep sense of shame and feel socially isolated. The experience of bullying can lower their self-esteem, lead to depression and put the bullied at high risk of other illnesses.

If you observe anybody around you being bullied, encourage them to open up to a teacher, parent or school counseller, comfort them when they share their experiences, and if possible, help them get out of the situation.

Cyberbullying can affect people of all ages and social backgrounds. If you feel bullied, don’t hesitate to talk to a mental healthcare professional asap. India has anti-bullying laws to protect you - reach out to a lawyer for assistance.

Amnesty International India has a campaign on bullying. For more information, visit http://www.bullynomore.in/ 

Support the LGBTQIA community

The global LGBTQIA community faces severe infringements of human rights in many nations, especially ones where they are still not recognised and are marginalised. While the world still has a long way to go, to give this community their rights (including the right to healthcare), you can make a difference by educating yourself on bigotry and how to avoid it.

Teach by example

You don’t need to be a certified teacher to educate those unaware of their rights, especially the right to lead healthy and safer lives. Leading by example is a good way to do this, especially for young children. You can help them imbibe good hygiene practices like washing their hands, show them how to lead healthier lives by teaching them how to choose fresh vegetables from the market and cook them, help them to understand and open up about sexual health issues. When it comes to awareness about health and hygiene, a little effort on your part can go a long way.

Protect the girl child

Despite concerted efforts to safeguard the rights of the girl child and women, there is little actual progress. You can do your part by making sure that those around you understand that the girl child has the same rights they do. You can encourage girls to tap into their potential to make the world a better place and support them by educating them. Help girls and women get access to healthcare services and fight the stigma associated with discussing menstrual and reproductive health so that they can stop feeling ashamed about their bodies and ill-health.

Save the planet

This might seem like too heavy a burden to bear, but you can play your part in fighting climate change and saving the planet by changing just a few habits. Remember, Greta Thunberg started with a solo protest in one tiny part of the world! Here’s what you can do:

Eat local ingredients and avoid wasting food and water. If you can take public transport instead of using private automobiles, do so because it will ultimately help you: with pollution levels under control, you will have a lower chance of getting any number of lung, skin or other pollutant-related diseases. Avoid using plastic and remember to reduce, reuse and recycle.

This Human Rights Day, do remember that change starts with you. Your rights are as inalienable as everybody else’s, and you can make a huge difference by making little changes that show how to respect, accept and co-exist with the rest of the world.

For more information, please read our article on Depression: Symptoms and Treatment

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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