Editorial:How far have we come: 60th Anniversary of Declaration of Human Rights

By Mallory Terrence
December 4, 2008

Freedom is what our country was founded on. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, where all men and women are created equal. These may be the words used to describe America, but the truth is that our country is not always fair and injustice can still be found today.

Dec. 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document envisions what is required for a world with no prejudice, with equal rights for men and women, respect for those unlike ourselves and peace among all mankind. The declaration contains 30 articles that elaborate basic human rights and sets forth that all governments should allow citizens to obtain these rights.

The majority of the world has adopted the declaration but still allows their citizens to live without basic rights and respect each day. America is seen as a country of freedom. However, we too are among the countries that violates human rights.

Human rights are not something we think about very much day to day and the topic itself can cause much disagreement and anger when we hear how others regard aspects of our own country.

Do you realize that most of the world regards the way we have imprisoned people in Guantanamo Bay a violation of human rights because we have not charged them with any crime?

Do you know that our use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” like water boarding is considered torture by the rest of the world?

We, as Cabrini students, have the opportunity to help those who cannot help themselves. Just because we are unable to directly contribute to bringing justice on a larger scale, it doesn’t mean that we should completely disregard actions that we can do.

The United States is seen as a place of refuge, an area where everyone is accepted regardless of religion, race or gender. Although we have come a great way over the last 60 years, we have the ability to really put into practice Mother Cabrini’s care for refugees.

Article 14 states that everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. Then why does America limit and control the amount of refugees seeking sanction?

Right this minute, there are Iraqi students who are living as homeless refugees in Lebanon and Syria and have passed all the tests and security clearances to come to the United States to study here. The only thing they lack is an invitation from a college and a scholarship to support them because they have absolutely no money as a result of the war – the war America launched.

The Iraqi Student Project was created so that Iraqi students can safely receive an education in the United States, which they would use to help rebuild the country in which they were born.

We’re their last resort, at an education and being about to have access to their human rights.

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Mallory Terrence

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