Handwriting by Marisa Mangum
Today, we are recognizing Human Rights Day, a monumental achievement in the advancement of human rights for all. It’s an opportunity to reflect upon the milestones made in the human rights movement and to raise awareness about the positive changes the human rights advocacy community is working toward. Human rights advocacy is a responsibility that lies within each one of us.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A group of representatives from various cultural, legal, and geographic backgrounds gathered together to create this historic document. It “proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,” according to the United Nations. This document set forth a universal standard to which governments and institutions should adhere; the values outlined are meant to protect and uphold each individual’s human dignity and universal rights.1
This Declaration was created in response to the human suffering caused by World War II. The global community agreed to never again allow a human oppression of that scale happen. In an effort led by international representatives, the first document was discussed at the General Assembly’s first gathering in 1946, then by the Commission on Human Rights a year later, and lastly by UN member states in Geneva in 1948.2
This year’s Human Rights Day leads up to the 70th anniversary of the Declaration’s adoption through a year-long campaign. Events are being held throughout the world — from New York to Paris to Senegal to Iran — to raise awareness and promote how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is meant to support equality, justice, and human dignity for everyone.3
One of our core values at The Little Market is dedicated to advocating for human rights and social justice. We work with artisan groups that promote access to equitable employment and other opportunities for marginalized communities, and we expect them to protect and uphold the human rights of artisans regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, ability or disability, or any markers of identity. We are committed to upholding the dignity of the skilled artisans, celebrating their heritage, and raising awareness for the social issues they continue to face. We also strive to raise awareness about various challenges faced by the artisan groups we partner with by contributing to ongoing conversations about access to equitable employment and other opportunities.
Let’s make a difference together. We can all join in promoting these universal values and protecting human rights for our fellow human beings. By raising our voices, taking a stance with our actions, including our purchases, and sharing our knowledge of these universal values, we can work toward a more equal world in which everyone’s human rights are guaranteed and respected.
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