Human rights issues have been around since the beginning of humanity, and while great strides have been made in recent years, there is still a ways to go to create total equality and inclusion. While it officially falls to the governments of each country to promote human rights, we all owe it to ourselves to promote it within our groups of colleagues, peers, friends, and family. This isn't an easy task, but if we work together, we can solve some of the issues we see every day and promote unity this holiday season.
What are some current human rights issues in 2020-2022?
Human rights take many different forms. We often hear about racial inequalities and equal rights for all people, but it goes deeper than only those issues. Here are some human rights violation examples in recent years.
Racial and social rights inequalities
In North American society, we've only recently begun to overtly address issues like racism and prejudice. These are long standing human rights issues that minority groups have been exposing for centuries, yet it was only after George Floyd that the corporate appetite for the term racism or anti-racism training was commonplace. We've definitely made progress over the last 500 years since the slave trade, working to bring equality to people of all races and genders. And we continue working to minimize our biases and learn to accept people of different ethnicities, cultures and religions. In 2020, hate crimes targeting Black people and Asians spiked compared to 2019 crime levels.
Beyond that, certain communities of Black, Native Americans, and Latinos were burdened much more than others by Covid-19, creating negative impacts within their communities that have affected healthcare, housing, and education.
Poverty and inequality
Economic inequalities have become more pronounced, with disparities rising quickly. The wealthy are getting wealthier, while the poor are continuing to get poorer. This is creating food hardships for children and adults and housing issues as rent continues to rise in many communities. The impacts of poverty hit people of all colours but have hit Latinos and Blacks especially hard.
We often think of environmental rights as "save the planet," which isn't wrong, but every human also has the right to live in a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. However, not everyone is living within that right. Groups are working to create recognition for this and are trying to promote the rights of individuals living in unhealthy and filthy conditions, protecting them from risks of disease and other health issues.
There are numerous issues currently around that world that need our attention and understanding, whether it is Canadians fighting for their Charter of freedom rights to move around freely and to work free of health discrimination, or the Chinese fighting back the intense lockdown and contact tracing measures they've been subjected to, or the Iranian women fighting to be heard and for murderers to be held accountable. Where and how can we actually affect these immense, heart wrenching issues?
How can we help with human rights issues that are being violated today?
Not everyone is able to help themselves when it comes to human rights, which means it is up to the rest of us to help those that are less fortunate. There are several ways to get involved in human rights causes.
Research the ones dearest to you, using credible sources. Make sure you truly understand the issue and what is causing it. Talk to people who are living the issue and find out their perspective.
Donate to good organizations that are promoting your cause and working toward a solution. Check your organization and see how they use their funds. Some organizations only send a small amount to the cause and keep the rest to fund themselves.
Connect with local human rights movements. By working together, you can raise awareness for the cause and get donations and funding. Encourage awareness campaigns in your communities and schools.
Take action when you see someone being discriminated against. If you see racism or sexism happening, be the one to step up and say something. It does involve taking a risk, but a calculated risk may be well worth it in the end. If you are seeing inequalities in your workplace, talk to the person being discriminated against and see if there is some way you can help.
Being a human rights activist does not necessarily mean picketing in front of a court house. Being a global citizen is someone interested in everyone winning, and it takes guts, resolve and action. Taking action is a great way to help people in your home town and 10, 000 miles away. As you will learn about new environments and the community around you, you become more powerful, more knowledgeable on how to support them and how to help create the world you've always imagined for your future.
Standing up against human rights violations is not only a worthy cause, but it's a way of life. It's a belief system, a morality, an awareness that we are all interconnected and the sufferings of others affect us too. It doesn't have to be dire or difficult to help causes that you believe in. Find your group and get busy.
We're here to help you come up with ideas and strategies to ensure your company is contributing to making this world more sane by upholding your employees human rights as well as influencing your communities with initiatives that you feel strongly about. Let's book a call so we can talk about how best to promote human rights in your organization.