December 10, 2023
Human Rights Day
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All humans are born free and equal”. This December 10th, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a milestone for universally protected freedom, equality, and justice. The document implies 30 rights and freedoms guaranteed to every human being regardless of nationality, gender, origin, religion, language, political or other status.
After the Second World War, countries from all regions and diverse cultural and political contexts came together and recognised these fundamental human rights for the first time in history in December 1948, 75 years ago. Even though the declaration is not binding, it depicts the basis for international human rights law, and many countries enshrined its meanings into their national constitutions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been translated into more than 500 languages, making it the most translated document in the world. Together, this reflects its importance for every one of us.
In times of political rupture, Broken Chalk calls for the protection of fundamental and universal Human Rights. Political actors must stand together in the fight for justice, equality, and dignity of the people in this world.
Regrettably, as we observe this significant day, the shadows of colonisation and exploitation persist, particularly impacting populations in the Global South. In this regard, Broken Chalk extends our solidarity to the oppressed and reaffirms the importance of eliminating all forms of human rights violations or restrictions. The struggles against the alarming violations happening around the globe, notably in Palestine, Sudan, Congo, and where people are fighting for their rights, remind us that collective efforts are key to addressing these issues. As the famous saying goes, no one is free until everyone is free. The right to education will only be secured and accessible for everyone if the fundamental rights can be enjoyed.
For this reason, Broken Chalk keeps working in the area of advocacy and lobbying on behalf of educational victims, preparing reports to raise awareness of unseen human rights violations. Throughout this year, Broken Chalk has diligently released articles on educational challenges in different countries, submitted reports to echo the calls of the United Nations for input, and drafted press releases for human rights-related commemorations. We also maintain active relationships with international organisations sharing similar mandates and causes, thereby contributing to a broader advocacy network. On this special day, we celebrate our ongoing commitment to this cause and pay tribute to all human rights defenders who work under threats, censorship, and distress. They deserve the utmost respect and acknowledgement.
Nevertheless, human rights action is not only the responsibility of political actors and human rights defenders. As the fight for human rights never ends, Broken Chalk encourages everybody to stand up for their human rights and the rights of others. We strongly call for action in your daily life, including at the workplace and school.
Building on the achievements of these 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), while recognising the urgent need to address human rights violations still perpetrated around the world, we raise our voice to call upon all humanity to incessantly commit to human rights protection in all fields, especially education.
We consider an informed human rights action to be powerfully effective. In this respect, education plays a fundamental and transformative role for the present and next generations. Using human rights education, a spirit of respect for human dignity takes root both in the personal development of everybody and in social common understanding. As more investments are necessary to ensure the right to quality education for all, so must we invest in shared values and beliefs that safeguard us throughout life.
As the fourth phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education unfolds, Broken Chalk advocates for compulsory human rights education in school curricula worldwide, in line with Target 7 of SDG 4. We believe that increasing knowledge about human rights is the launching pad to a brighter future where we can fully enjoy our rights.
Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect.
Written by Eliana Riggi, Leyang Fu, & Luzi Maj Leonhardt.