What is the International Human Right Day?

Every year on December 10th, more than 80 nations all over the world celebrate the International Human Right Day commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR) that has been established by the United Nation (UN) during its General Assembly in 1948. As a result, UN proclaimed December 10th as Human Right Day.

The UDHR is the most translated document and regarded as one of the most significant human right documents for the past quarter century. It helps people to understand what is actually meant by the human right and also plays an important role in increasing awareness regarding the human right among the world’s society. Besides, it can also be a good reference in advocating any human right issues.

The day is normally celebrated by political conference, meeting or exhibition regarding the human right issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10th December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Right and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Some non-governmental organizations do marches to spread the awareness of human rights to all over the world.

This year’s theme for Human Right Day internationally is ‘Working for Right’.

What is the reality that happening?

As we can obviously see, the aim of the UDHR is of course to stand up for any issues that contradicted to the human rights. However, the reality is not as we hope. The UDHR is not acting as a superman to protect any subjection on the human rights.nelson-mandela

If we review the life story of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, we can see how the UN and the UDHR ‘play’ their important roles in protecting human rights. Mandela is widely known as a human rights activist since he was a youth. He supported and fought for the human rights. He was initiated by two factors which were the oppression of the South Africans and also because of his aversion to the capitalist that has oppressed people based on skin color.

As he was fighting for the human rights, he was sentenced to prison for 27 years for encouraging black South Africans to go on strike. He battled South African apartheid and planned to overthrow the government by non-violent protests. Yet, he was ‘awarded’ by a ‘new home’.

That’s what happened in the South Africa.

What about Palestine? Same thing happened. For more than 60 years since 1947, Palestinians are humiliated by the establishment of the illegal state of Israel. Moreover, the world didn’t remain silent. Every year, aids are delivered to the Palestinians from many countries and organizations. Protests are made every year and many petitions were sent rebuttal to the establishment of the illegal nation. But suddenly the functions of UN and UDHR were paralyzed.

While currently what is happening in Egypt, freedom of speech has been ‘buried deeply under the pyramids’. Peaceful protests are labelled as terrorism. People are detained without clear evidences. The most dramatic part was when Nelson Mandela said, “Democracy is an ideal for which I’m ready to die,”. Morsi said the same thing and he was accused of incisting murder.palestinian_children_detained_israeli_jails_2

To whom should we be pointing fingers?

It’s not about blaming any sides or parties. I completely admit that there is some sort of conspiracy behind all these. However it is such a loser if we keep on blaming the conspiracy theory without doing nothing. If your teacher asks you to send an assignment and you’ve completed it but suddenly a cup of coffee fall on your paper. Would you blame the wind that caused the coffee to fall down? Or you will blame the existence of the coffee? Of course not.stock-photo-4611343-pointing-fingers

Same case here, we should not blame others.

The UDHR is a very good step in promoting and protecting human rights. The only flaw part is it’s not well implemented. I really eager and support the content of the UDHR (you can search and read it from the internet) and the idea of the Human Right Day. It has made many people aware and understand the issue of human rights.

What should we do?

Keep on supporting and stand up for this issue. Spread the message and join any function regarding the issue. Maybe we can’t do much as an ordinary world’s folk but we still can give a big impact when move in a group. If you remember how did the social network Facebook was used to support the hunger strike in the Palestine. Although we just changed our profile picture, it brought to a massive effect as everybody did it at the same time.

But somehow we still hope one day there will be a leader that will stand up and bring the world to peace and justice. I surely believe that the time will come soon.

The only question is who will be the leader and the followers? If not us, who else will be?


Mohd Firdaus bin Rahim
3rd Year, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University.