Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Every Human Has Rights: Sign the Pledge for the Elders

Do you believe we all have human rights?

Do you believe:
• You have the right to live, and to live in freedom and safety.
• Nobody has the right to treat you as his/her slave and you should not make anyone your slave.
• Nobody has the right to torture you.
• You should be legally protected in the same way everywhere, and like everyone else.
• The law is the same for everyone; it should be applied in the same way to all.
These are 5 of the 30 points listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 10, 2008 will mark the 60th anniversary of the General Assembly of the United Nations' adoption of the Declaration.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, The Elders (Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Ela Bhatt, Gro Brundtland, Fernando H Cardoso, Mary Robinson, Aung San Suu Kyi, Graça Machel, Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing and Muhammad Yunus) have launched the Every Human Has Rights campaign. In the past, only governments have signed the Declaration. The campaign's goal is to have 1 billion individuals from all over the world sign it. I did.

In her post, Happy Human Rights Day on Global Voices, Solana Larsen writes about a conference call six Global Voices bloggers had with Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, and Graça Machel. According to Larsen, The Elders are asking, "the world's bloggers and citizen media activists to help them in their campaign to make human rights more relevant to individuals around the world."

Larsen also writes about the second part of the campaign, getting people to upload videos about human rights violations to WITNESS' The Hub. The Hub is a place to find, upload and take action on human rights-related media. From the site:
"The WITNESS Hub and Google Earth are working with the Every Human Has Rights campaign to build a global digital databank of human rights stories, in text, audio and video."
In her post, Start Designing Human Rights on Anamorphosis, Kate Andrews writes about some of the design behind the campaign noting that, "The campaign identity puts the emphasis on the main subject, human rights, and is hand-cut and screened printed, with typography by illustrator Rose Stallard."

What difference will a beautifully designed web campaign have on the lives of people whose rights are being violated? It's hard to know, but the "Take Action" section of the Every Human Has Rights site says that ActionAid International, Amnesty International, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, International PEN, Realizing Rights, Save the Children, and UNICEF will be participating in the campaign as well.

With a powerhouse group like the Elders behind it, hopefully global awareness of our shared humanity and rights will be raised, and progress will be made in how governments treat their citizens, and how we treat each other.

Logo from The Elders: Every Human Has Rights.


  1. Hi Britt, Great to see you talking about the campaign but I just wanted to correct you, I am Kate Andrews not Anderson. :) Thanks.

  2. Ooops! So sorry about that. I fixed it.

  3. The UNDHR is a handy tool when writing to leaders to ask them to make can say "In the UNDHR, which your country signed in (year), it states "(insert right)" and you can ask them to hold to the principles of the declaration.


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