Friday, December 10, 2010

International Human Rights Day

Today is International Human Rights Day!

This is a chance to celebrate not only those who defend human rights around the world and fight to end discrimination, but it is also a chance to reflect on what human rights mean to you.

Human rights are very important to us here at Goal.

Part of being empowered is understanding and knowing your human rights: that's why rights education is included in the Goal's life skills programme which all our girls receive.

Knowing your rights can help you see discrimination and hopefully speak up against it. They can help you understand what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what isn't. Importantly, if you know your rights, you know what is wrong and can access the help needed to right that wrong.

But human rights don't just mean political or civil rights like the right to vote for example. They also emcompass socio-economic rights, like the right to an education, the right to work and the right to bodily integrity which means that no one has the right to harm you physically, sexually or psychologically.

Sexual and reproductive rights are also vital for Goal girls to learn about: knowing these rights is essential to ending gender-based violence and ensuring that the girls have equal and adequate access to sexual health clinics and maternal health care.

Wherever you are in the world today, make sure you take a couple of minutes to think about human rights. If you are privileged enough to enjoy human rights, think about what your life would be like if you couldn't access them and think about those people around the world who aren't able to exercise free speech, who don't have the right to own a property or access education. If you aren't aware of your rights then it's never too late to learn about them and start claiming them!

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