Posts Tagged UN

Human Rights: 60 years

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration in 1948

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration in 1948

Wednesday 10th December 2008 – 60 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was formed.

It’s an important anniversary, not least because more than half a century later, we’re not much closer to seeing the articles a reality.

Here’s some stuff worth looking at:

The Declaration itself

An excellent documentary: Taking Liberties

I started a petition to get the Human Rights declaration a compulsory part of the British curriculum. SIGN IT!

And ask yourself: how many of the articles can you name?

If we don’t even know what our human rights are, how can we protect them?


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Time for a little activism…

I’m not just trying to make a difference to my own life with this thing. Oh no. This is also about trying to make a difference in the wider world too. And sometimes that requires some active effort, some doing rather than thinking.

Human Rights is something I care a lot about. I’ve written about it here and also started a petition to get it on school curriculums in the UK. Well, on 10th December, it will be the 60th anniversary since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was formed. And I just received this from the Every Human Has Rights Campaign:

Every Human Has Rights partner organizations have worked over 2008 to encouraged millions of people to make commitments to the goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through schools, trade unions, community organizations and other groups. Now, the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration is just weeks away – on December 10th. You’ve already made your personal commitment to human rights and the Universal Declaration. Now we’re asking for your help to gain more individual signatures to the Every Human Has Rights pledge. Commit to encouraging 20 people to sign the pledge. Whether it’s by, email, or even Facebook, we need you to ask 20 people to visit, to read the Universal Declaration, and to make a personal pledge to stand up for the rights and freedoms enshrined in it. To make it easier for you, send an e-postcard through our website. Over 30,000 of you have signed the online Every Human Has Rights pledge. The Elders, human rights defenders, journalists supporting human rights and others will join together this December to mark the Universal Declaration’s 60th and call on governments around the world to make human rights count in legislation, education and in practice. You can help make the message more powerful by getting 20 friends, classmates or colleagues to go online to sign the pledge. We need to gather as many assenting voices as we can in a short time. We’re asking you to reach out to 20 others in your circle of contacts. Please help us spread the word. The world has made great strides in the past 60 years – but it’s not enough. Right now genocide is still taking place. Billions are trapped in lives of poverty and despair. If we are going to meet global challenges like financial and food crises, climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, the rights of women, health rights and the rights of children, we need to work together, and demand our leaders adhere to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration.

I’ll be doing this, how about you?

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Cutting out the meat

The man in charge of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is giving a talk in London on Monday – and he’s going to tell us all to eat meat for one less day a week

Methane is one of the most dangerous emissions

Methane is one of the most dangerous emissions


According to today’s Observer Dr Rajendra Pachauri says that we should use that as a base to eventually reduce the amount of meat we consume.

He’s a vegetarian himself, so that’s easy for him to say. But if the science is right, he’s making a good point.

Meat production – including fertisiler and cattle feed – accounts for nearly a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. And then you have the amount cow’s emit when they, you know, let one off.

Here’s the crux – this is important because Dr Pachauri is asking US to make changes to OUR LIVES.

And it’s great because to start it is a small step. One less meat meal a week. Have a vegetable stir fry instead. Or pasta and pesto. Or a roast vegetable salad.

I really believe individuals are going to have to make changes like these if we’re to make any headway in stopping climate change. We can’t leave it to Washington and Whitehall.

That’s why from today I am going to have at least one meat free meal a week – and reduce it from there.

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