Human Rights Anniversary

Listen to Eleanor Roosevelt on the occasion of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years ago:



And Marco Werman discusses religion and human rights with The World’s religion editor Jane Little:



One response to “Human Rights Anniversary

  1. Roderick V. Louis


    In 2003 US President G W Bush & the United Kingdom’s T Blair ‘took action’, albeit indirectly, to uphold the UN’s UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION- by pushing their countries to invade & occupy Iraq.

    Although the actions that they authorized & directed were ostensibly in order to rid one of the middle east’s most despotic regimes of its leader & supplicant govt/bureaucrat officials- & to replace these with a human-rights-upholding, rule-of-law, democratic governance system… the results were, nonetheless, intended to put in place a political, legal and social frame-work in which the types of human rights as described in the UN Declaration were promoted and enforced…

    … a new Iraq that would have been capable of providing for its citizens an environment that, at least to a reasonable degree- upheld the UN Declaration’s precepts & clauses…

    Following the 2003 invasion until today- as is common knowledge- the US & the UK have not been able to commit sufficient levels of occupation & reconstruction forces into the country… this partly due to the unanticipated radicalized-muslim insurgency.

    During this period none of the UN Human Rights’ Declaration’s signatories (other than the US & UK)- including many wealthy, capable countries- were willing to stump-up their own resources/put their troops’ into Iraq- in sufficient amounts- if at all- to help with the rebuilding & instilling-of-democratic structures processes there… so President Bush’s & PM Blair’s laudable, apparently altruistic objectives- for the most part- bit the dust, resulting in the Iraq mess of today….

    The 1948 UN Human Rights Declaration unarguably has… taken root in the minds of (many, many) millions of people throughout the world, who then (regularly) put pressure on their governments through pressure groups & NGO’s…

    Unfortunately, this applying pressure process has functioned more as a make-work project for the vasr majority of pressure groups/individuals/NGO’s than a legitimate strategy to accomplish purported objectives.

    Instead of demanding legitimate ‘actions’ of their govts, unfortunately many pressure groups only call for what is in effect ‘appearances-only’ pontificating by their govt officials…

    The case for at least the last several decades, virtually without exception, has been human rights pressure groups confining their demands to types of govt actions that are ‘easy’: almost cost-less; comparatively risk-free; & in reality->> vacuous ego burnishing exercises… without any realistic likelihood of bringing about the human rights ‘campaigners’ loudly stated & heavily publicized objectives….

    Whenever the types of govt ‘actions’ necessary to end Human Rights abuses in countries like, for example: Zimbabwe, Burma, North korea & Iran would have have mandated comparatively minor financial/other discomfort &/or sacrifice on the part of developed world countries’ self-described ‘human rights campaigners’->> these people/their organizations object & loudly protest against such actions->> very commonly saying things like “the west has no right to force democracy or a human-rights based rule-of-law system of governance on another country”, etc.

    The disastrous & unconscionable follow-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion provides a cogent & glaring example of this, what is in effect, an ‘illness’ of cowardly, intellectually dishonest hypocrisy- that pervades nearly all of the developed world’s most influential & (unfortunately) widely reported human rights’ organizations & NGO’s…

    Employees/members of these groups will, on an almost daily basis- in probably every western/developed world country- get paid for standing on busy street corners with signature tablets asking passers by to sign affirming that they ‘support’ ending human rights abuses in xyz country- but passers by are not asked to (support) demand legitimate ‘actions’ of their respective govt->> types of actions that would have a realistic likelihood of succeeding in the petition’s stated objectives.

    For at least the last 40 years, standing on street corners in ‘make-work-project exercise mode’ is about as far as the biggest, most liberally funded Human Rights organizations/their members & employees will go in working to have the 1948 UN Human Rights declaration upheld….

    With this level of willfully blind dishonesty going unchecked & unreported in the news media- and allowed to continue- is any improvement likely??

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada,

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