Today marks another International Human Rights Day in commemoration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 66 years ago. This day is observed annually on 10 December, to highlight the fundamental rights that all people are entitled to as a global community.
As a country, we’ve come a long way with regards to human rights, although, there is still much more to be done. Some years back, we could not speak against wrong actions by our leaders for fear of being thrown into jail. But it is much different now.
However, we still have many issues to grapple with.
- Around 15 million girls are forced into child marriage around the world every year. One in three girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday, increasing their risk of isolation and violence, and limiting their chance to have an education.
- Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable, but due to gender-based discrimination many women are not given the proper education or care they need.
- There are millions of children living in poverty around the world today. According to Unicef, 22,000 children worldwide die each day due to poverty.
- An estimated 27 million people are currently enslaved in the human trafficking trade globally.
Nigeria plays a huge part of these shocking statistics and its time we paid more attention to these issues.
The theme for 2014, “Human Rights 365“, is a reminder that everyone is entitled to basic rights with the same ideals and values – all year round. I’d like to add to this by saying the promotion of Human Rights should be everyone’s responsibility. Show more love and care to that child who is not yours, give someone an education, respect other people’s opinions…
I’d like to end with the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said in a message today: “On Human Rights Day we speak out. We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time: whoever we are and wherever we are from; no matter our class, our opinions, our sexual orientation.”