International Day of Human Rights - Reflection by Dean Sue
Read Dean Sue's reflection for Thursday, 10 December 2020.
On December 10 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations, at its General Assembly. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that sets out the rights which everyone is entitled to as human beings – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (un.og). The document has been translated into more than 500 languages.
This year, the theme for today’s Human Rights Day is: Recover better – Stand Up for Human Rights. The theme has been developed to take account of the COVID 19 pandemic and the implications of the pandemic for the most vulnerable and poor in our society and in our world. As we are aware the pandemic has shown how the most vulnerable in our world have been affected. The elderly in our own country and the care offered to them have been affected deeply as COVID 19 spread through our care homes and deaths among the elderly rose. Likewise people from the Black and Asian community have been badly affected as we saw COVID 19 take the lives of many Black and Asian frontline workers. Those who live in poverty, who don’t have the basic necessities, have also been badly hit as the numbers of people using Foodbanks has risen and deaths have occurred among the poorer parts of our country in disproportionate numbers in relation to the rest of the country.
The United Nations clearly states on their web-site (www.un.org) that human rights must be at the centre of the post COVID 19 world:
Human Rights must be at the centre of the post COVID-19 world
The COVID-19 crisis has been fuelled by deepening poverty, rising inequalities, structural and entrenched discrimination and other gaps in human rights protection. Only measures to close these gaps and advance human rights can ensure we fully recover and build back a world that is better, more resilient, just, and sustainable.
- End discrimination of any kind: Structural discrimination and racism have fuelled the COVID-19 crisis. Equality and non-discrimination are core requirements for a post-COVID world.
- Address inequalities: To recover from the crisis, we must also address the inequality pandemic. For that, we need to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights. We need a new social contract for a new era.
- Encourage participation and solidarity: We are all in this together. From individuals to governments, from civil society and grass-roots communities to the private sector, everyone has a role in building a post-COVID world that is better for present and future generations. We need to ensure the voices of the most affected and vulnerable inform the recovery efforts.
- Promote sustainable development: We need sustainable development for people and planet. Human rights, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement are the cornerstone of a recovery that leaves no one behind.
As Christians we cannot but agree with the UN’s call for Human Rights to be at the centre of a post COVID 19 world. We are called by God to respect the Human Rights of all people. We are also called to address the inequalities in our world and to respect every living creature created by God. As is stated in the letter to the Galatians:
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
While you're here:
Why not prepare for next Sunday's worship? Our preparation sheet for adults and for children can be accessed by clicking on the Resources tab of our prayer blog, Prayer for Liverpool: https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.