“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."~ Eleanor Roosevelt~
Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on 10th December. This day is celebrated internationally to honor 10th December 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Palais de Challoit, Paris after the occurrence of the Second World War. This marks as one of the first major achievements of the United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also the world most translated document into 500 language versions holding a world record.
The knowledge and understanding of human rights is very important to each and every individual. There are two fundamental categories of human rights, substantive rights and legal rights. Substantive rights that consist of the right to life; freedom from torture; freedom from slavery; freedom of speech; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and the right to a fair trial are very basic and vital rights that every single person including youth should have. Legal rights, on the other hand consist of six rights that include, civil and political rights; the rights of women, minorities, and groups; environmental rights; and social rights, which every citizen including youth is legally entitled to.
However, achievement of the world where the concept of human rights for all people is highly practiced is not without challenges. In certain parts of the world especially in developing countries violations of human rights towards minorities, women, and subordinated groups still exist on a large scale. One of the most serious cases of human rights a violation is related to war crime, war of aggression, and crimes against humanity for example genocide. It has been observed that human rights violations are highly associated with inequality of access to public facilities and opportunities for a better livelihood.
Various key stakeholders such as: international organisations, governmental bodies, non-governmental organisations, private sectors, media, and youth themselves have been showing their concern by contributing to many activities and programmes designed to promote and educate human rights related matters in all levels of society as well as to prevent any further violations of human rights in the future.
After a year marked by the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which culminated on 20 November, 2019, the plan is to capitalise on the current momentum and spotlight the leadership role of youth in collective movements as a source of inspiration for a better future.
Under our universal call to action "Stand Up for Human rights," with an aim to celebrate the potential of youth as constructive agents of change, amplify their voices, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights. The campaign, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is designed to encourage, galvanise, and showcase how youth all over the world stand up for rights and against racism, hate speech, bullying, discrimination, and climate change, to name a few.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), go forward on human rights and aim to generate a more just globe by giving power to young advocates from around the world through a grouping of cross cultural human rights, volunteer services, and sustained human rights activism associated with NGOs, policy makers, and other stakeholders. Recognising the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of our programmes and activities are guided by it.
We acknowledge the significance of human rights as one of pivotal aspects that needs to be safeguarded as it is the key in solving most of youth-issues and way in advancing progress of youth worldwide.