Stand up for human rights for everyone, at all times | Inquirer Opinion

Stand up for human rights for everyone, at all times

/ 04:01 AM December 01, 2020

When we think of killings, oppression, and abuse of power, we think such acts are violations of human rights. And we think human rights violations have no place in contemporary society. Hence, we often conclude that these barbaric acts are long gone—no longer happening, in other words. This reasoning is downright wrong, because many people still suffer from human rights violations.

That young child who labors day and night for his family’s supper. That poor woman forced to work overtime with little pay. That boy bullied because of his skin color. That couple discriminated against and threatened for being gay. That innocent man killed in broad daylight.

These people still exist in 2020, and they suffer from human rights violations. There are millions of them around the world, including here in our homeland.

All of this despite knowing that it’s the right of every child to receive formal education, that the common man or woman has the right to be well-compensated for their work. All of this despite knowing that discriminating against and threatening other people for their sexual orientation or skin color are immoral, and that killing is downright evil. And it seems like we don’t care.


Every Dec. 10, the world observes Human Rights Day to commemorate and honor the adoption and proclamation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. As a foundational text in the history of human rights, the UDHR affirmed that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent, inalienable, and applicable to every person despite differences in other aspects.

Fast forward to 72 years later, and still not everyone is able to enjoy his or her human rights. Part of the reason is that we don’t stand up for them. People speak up when they’re the ones already aggrieved. We need to stand up for human rights for everyone, at all times, and not only when we’re the ones suffering.

Sampaloc, Manila

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TAGS: Joshua Corcuera, Letters to the Editor

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