Sunday, December 12, 2010

Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Turns 62, United States Still Fails to Ratify

On December 10, 1948 the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

The declaration turned 62 this past Saturday, and though the United States continues to fall short of ratifying this landmark piece of global legislation, people from all over the world recognize December 10th as Human Rights day.

In Atlanta the whole week was marked by a number of events all over the city. AFSC's own Alice Lovelace played an instrumental role in planning the finale event, "RISE:Artist Respond to Human Rights" which was held at the historic Rialto theater in downtown Atlanta. Alice also performed an original spoken word piece, which was quit stunning.

Turn out was great, and the performances were amazing, over 70 artist performed dance, song, and poetry.

Attendees were encouraged to show up early and stay late and get to know several groups doing human rights work in Atlanta, American Friends Service Committee was of course one of those groups.

I had the pleasure of staffing the AFSC table. I saw a lot of old friends, and I definitley made a few new ones too.

One thing that was painfully clear is that the world needs the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today as much as it ever has.

For the full text of the declaration visit:

Here's a short clip of the performance, taken from the upper section of the Rialto:

Tim Franzen
American Friends Service Committee

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