As International citizens we all remember the atrocities of World War II and the lessons to be learned. However, its events like those which are vital to keep in our minds to prevent such injustices from occurring again. Which is exactly why the United Nations created Human Rights Day on December 10th. Human Rights Day has been recognized since 1950 to mark the anniversary of all participating nations in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although, this day is often overshadowed by December holidays, it is of grave importance to our world and should be recognized.

Sadly the world has not quite learned the lessons from World War II. Violations of human rights still exist in many parts of the world today. Unfortunately, there are still people involved in genocide, slave labor, human trafficking, sexual slavery, and torture. These are alarming acts that should not even exist in this world, yet sadly for many in the world they are a harsh reality. Its days like December 10th that we should look somber upon but also let it inspire us to take action.

How does one get involved? Well you can start with acknowledging the events are existing and to commemorate December 10th. But if you want to attend an event for Human Rights Day, check out the panel discussion Race, Poverty, and Power at the UN headquarters in New York. However, if New York is out of the question, consider volunteering or donating to a number of different Human Rights Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, Amnesty International, MADRE, Save Darfur, and  Not For Sale. Lastly, stay informed! Do your research and pay attention to world events going on.

Most holidays call for celebration but not Human Rights Day. Because the world is still seeing extreme violations of human rights, there just isn’t much to celebrate. Here’s where you and I and the international community have to step in. We can not continue to stand by while these atrocities occur. After all, we are all in this together.

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