December 10 marks the 63rd Human Rights Day, created in honour of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human of Rights. Signed in 1948, this declaration became the first globally recognized statement of rights, biased neither by race, nor gender, nor cultural background. Instead, it sought to bring a standard of equality for citizens across the world.
The theme of the day this year, is "Working for Your Rights," a reminder that the struggle for equality and progress is ongoing. This theme also pays heed to the many leaders across the globe who have dedicated their lives to ensuring that the common standard for human rights is upheld.
It seems fitting that this day should arrive so near to death of one of the most infamous human rights advocates of our age, Nelson Mandela. A proponent of racial and economic equality in South Africa, his example is one from which any nation or party can look to for inspiration. Mandela's life serves a fine illustration of this year's theme, reminding us that the struggle for human rights is never finished.
BC Greens are hopeful that on this day, we can stop to think of the consequences of climate change, including sea level rise, desertification and extreme weather events, that threaten human rights across the planet. As political leaders make their way to Africa, one of the most climatically vulnerable continents, we are hopeful that they will consider how the actions of developed nations contribute to the potential adverse impacts of climate change on human rights.