By Kiera Ford, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
In times of uncertainty, when it seems to be the height in violations of one’s rights, National Human Rights Month is here to remind us of the day that our rights were codified and set in place. During World War II, in order to combat Hitler’s deadly dictatorship, the Allies established a list of rights that everyone should have. National Human Rights Month actually started back in 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly met and put into place the basic freedoms that every man and woman should have: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want and some 30 other freedoms necessary for life. Since these articles of freedoms were written, they have helped keep people safe from dictatorship, bring prisoners of war home safely, and have helped maintain the rights and civil liberties of people across the world.
What can you do to celebrate National Human Rights Month? The best way to acknowledge and even celebrate National Human Rights Month is by recognizing the work and diligence that those before us have put in so that we can live freely and comfortably. Because not everyone is able to observe these freedoms that, for most, are awarded at birth, take time this month to advocate for one another, to fight for the basic human rights of that everyone should have, and to make other’s aware of the fight that some of us still have to endure. You can also work with other organizations throughout the nation or in your local community to spread knowledge and good will to man. This work doesn’t have to be monumental. It can be as simple as a donation or a volunteering for an hour once a week. Whatever you choose to do, remember to never take for granted the rights you’ve been given at birth.
Why is National Human Rights Month important to the Red Cross? Read through our Seven Fundamental Principles to see how humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality play a part in our mission.