By: Anna Mahalak, UNA-USA Youth Engagement Manager
Implement a human rights project on your campus or in your community.
The “Stand Up for Someone’s Rights” campaign is inspired by former First Lady and UNA-USA trailblazer Eleanor Roosevelt and her famous observation: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.” Human rights begin by standing up for someone’s rights on your campus and in your community. Organize an event that helps to share this message, raise awareness, or takes an action. Try working with untraditional partners or stakeholders; see where you can find common ground. Ask those around you what they can do to stand up for someone’s rights. If you are part of an official UNA-USA chapter you can apply for a grant to help implement your project.
Inform yourself and others about why human rights matter.
Read and share the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Record a video of yourself reading an article of the Declaration, and share your video. 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).
Support human rights in everyday life.
The Stand Up For Someone’s Rights website includes a variety of actions you can take to stand up for human rights in everyday life, including:
- 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 children about human rights and point out positive and diverse role models. We have materials about teaching human rights to the young.
Take digital action.
What does standing up for someone’s rights mean to you? How does your chapter take action in your community? Tell us your story by writing a blog post for GenUN. Share on social media using #UNAStandUp and #standup4humanrights. Finally, sign the pledge and download the social media toolkit.
Call on leaders to uphold human rights.
You can lobby your elected officials to stay active in the United Nations and UN Human Rights Council by paying our U.S. dues to the UN. The UNA-USA Advocacy Guide is designed to help local Chapters advocate on behalf of the United Nations. You can also urge your community’s leaders (e.g. religious, local, sporting, cultural leaders) to make public commitments to human rights. Invite them to a Human Rights Day event your chapter is hosting or recognize them for their work in supporting human rights.