Monday, October 23, 2006

Human rights do begin at home

A recent Christian Science monitor Op-ed piece really hammered it home for me: human rights do begin at home -- so does the work of human rights. Lisa Suhay who attended a talk by former high commissoner for the UNHCR, Mary Robinson, recognized that Robinson was right: you can't expect human rights to thrive in the rest of the world, if you don't even have it in your own backyard -- well that's not exactly what she said -- but that's my paraphrase. Robinson quoted one of my favorite heroes: Eleanor Roosevelt -- chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission of 1948: "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? I small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works...Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world". Thanks for helping us re-think the terrible things that are going on in this world and what we should do...
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1 comment:

suhay said...

Thank you. While I may not have used those precise words you hit on exactly what I meant.