Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Article 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Updated Something that appeared to pass almost completely unnoted by the major media (based on searches on Yahoo! News and Google News) was the fact that today, December 10, was the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International has a 20-minute video featuring a reading of the document illustrated with graphics. That link is here.

Footnote: The day did not go completely unnoticed by major media; the Boston Globe took the occasion to editorialize in favor of a call for the UN Security Council to demand of the regime in Burma that it release political prisoners "or face a UN arms embargo." I'd certainly embargo more than arms, but it'd be a start.

Another Footnote: One place the day got some attention was in Belarus, where dozens of activists were arrested for taking part in actions in observance of Human Rights Day. Nine of them were arrested for handing out copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Updated with A Third Footnote: I wanted to call attention to the new listing in the right-hand column of Some Civil Liberties Groups. The word "some" is deliberate; apart from the link to the Yahoo! directory, it's limited to groups with whose work I am at least passingly familiar. The word was also chosen because I imagine the list will grow over time.

One important note about it is that I used the term "civil liberties" rather than "human rights" because the groups listed have a primary focus on political and cultural freedoms rather than relief or economic justice. That's why worthy groups such as, for some obvious examples, Global Exchange and Madre and Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders are not there.

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