Youth for Human Rights Confronts Discrimination Head-on with Unique Approach: Basic Human Rights Education
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES: An invisible enemy doesn’t stop being an enemy just because you cannot see it or touch it. One may ask, "Is it dangerous even if it remains hidden?" And to this our country should say, “Yes”. Hatred is a poison that strikes our American values and spreads as the virus did, veiled, indiscernible and unseen.
With a history that hangs heavy around our collective consciousness, we must again recognize that hatred towards another because of their ethnicity, the shape of their eyes, the color of their skin, is wrong.
Attacks against Asian Americans have occurred due to a false perception that they were somehow involved in the spread of COVID. The attacks that have ensued because of these wrong ideas are a violation of the basic human rights that exists to protect us all.
Attacks on Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities spawned a new law that passed the Senate recently, the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. The purpose of this act is to “ensure that the Department of Justice invests the resources needed to fully investigate pandemic-related hate crimes against Asian Americans and will support local law enforcement to report and respond to hate crimes.”
At the signing of this law which had bipartisan support, President Biden said, “For centuries, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders — diverse and vibrant communities — have helped build this nation only to be often stepped over, forgotten, or ignored. You know, lived here for generations, but still considered, by some, the ‘other’ — the ‘other’. It’s wrong. It’s simply — to use the phrase — it’s simply un-American.”
One way to stop this culture of hate is through education. In 1948, the United Nations created a document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The purpose of this relatively new organization was to bring peace to the world, a purpose which was furthered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Youth for Human Rights International is dedicated to making human rights a fact by disseminating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at every level of society.
Youth for Human Rights holds that, “Every person is entitled to certain rights--simply by the fact that they are a human being. They are 'rights' because they are things you are allowed to do or to have. These rights are there for your protection against people who might want to harm or hurt you. They are also there to help us get along with each other and live in peace.” Youth for Human Rights International has put out a very compelling Public Service Announcement on each of the 30 rights declared by the United Nations. Also available are a free booklet that you can download, a free online course and a free package for educators on this subject. (Go to www.youthforhumanrights.org.)
Having this information simplified for youth makes it very easy to understand. For instance, the second right of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is Don’t Discriminate.
The booklets are available for free at www.youthforhumanrights.com. Further information for educators about this important document is also available to help with classroom or online education.
The Youth for Human Rights DC chapter has been doing online training and seminars for youth as well as adults interested in human rights. Those attending have learned how to use education and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to help resolve conflicts and prevent hate crimes.