Stand up for someone's rights today. © EPA/Yoan Valat

Stand up for someone's rights today – Take action

On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2016, the UN Human Rights Office launches its "Stand up for someone's rights today" campaign.  We want to encourage, galvanise and recognise what you do in your daily life, along with millions of other people around the world, to stand up for human rights – in your workplace, on the sports field, at school, in the street, wherever you are.

We all need AND can do something to defend human rights. Join us. Together we can change the course. We can make a difference!

If you would like to stand up with us but are not sure about what to do, here are just a few ideas.  

1) Inform yourself and others about why human rights matter

  • Read and share the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Make a video of yourself with a friend talking about why you believe human rights matter (e.g. non-discrimination, gender equality or freedom of expression).
  • Promote stories on your social media about people that you know have stood up for rights.

2) Speak out/up when another’s rights are at risk or under attack

  • If you see someone being harassed, bullied or ridiculed on the street, on public transportation, while shopping or at school, stand with them.
  • Use social media to stand with people who are facing reprisals for defending human rights e.g. activists, indigenous leaders, environmentalists, lawyers, trade unionists, journalists, etc.
  • At work, in school, around the dinner table, help someone whose voice is rarely heard to share their views.

3) Stand with others’ human rights

  • Donate to organisations that support victims of human rights abuses.
  • Join public events in support of human rights - online and/or in the street.
  • Volunteer with a group that promotes human rights defenders.

4) Call on leaders to uphold human rights

  • Lobby your government to uphold rights: sign related petitions; lobby your legislators to pass human-rights friendly laws and to repeal unfriendly ones.
  • Urge your employer to sign up to the Global Compact on Business and Human Rights; promote celebration of human rights in the work place (e.g. non discrimination, family friendly policies, decent working conditions, equal pay for equal work).
  • Urge your community’s leaders (e.g. religious, local, sporting, cultural leaders) to make public commitments to human rights.

5) In everyday life action

  • Combat myths with facts: in online and daily conversations, challenge harmful stereotypes.
  • Speak up for tolerance and against prejudice. Keep yourself in check, challenge your own views and prejudices.
  • Consider the human rights track record of companies before doing your shopping.
  • Talk to your children about human rights and point out positive and diverse role models.

In the coming weeks, we will share with you different materials and explain how to engage with us to defend human rights.

In the meantime, please download the logo, start spreading the word and then let us know what you do.

We count on your support and action!

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