Celebrating Human Rights Day

Today we honor Human Rights Day, which is celebrated every year on December 10th.

We will discuss the topic with a focus on one of the lesser-known human rights—the right to food.

The Definition of Human Rights

Bulgur in bag isolated on white backgroundWe often hear (and use) the term, but do we really know what it means?

If you were to ask random people on the street, “What are your human rights?” you would probably get as many answers as there are people.

The global definition of human rights is very broad: The freedoms and opportunities that everyone is entitled to by the sheer fact they are human.

The two most famous human rights are arguably freedom of speech and freedom of belief.

But the concept of human rights goes much deeper.

Human rights are about the rights to opportunity and choice. Therefore, they extend to the freedom to work in a job that fits our skill set, to select a partner of our choosing, and to raise children. It also includes the right to do all of the above without fear of reprisal—harassment, abuse or threat of dismissal.

What About Human Rights Day?

bowl of lentilsHuman Rights Day began in 1950 and is devoted to acknowledging and raising awareness about human rights.

It was created as a way to pay tribute to the UN General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

One of the UN’s earliest and finest achievements, the UDHR marks the first time that a worldwide body championed the basic rights and freedoms of all human beings including (but not limited to): the right to live, the right to health, the right to education, equal rights for all, and the right to food.

Human Rights and Healthful Food

Leek cross section with clipping path isolated on white backgrouThe right to food, though frequently taken for granted, is a critical human right that must be treated seriously and with respect. This idea is backed up by several of the world’s top organizations.

Besides including the right to food in their UDHR, the United Nations have written an informational article on the subject, entitled the Right to Adequate Food.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (part of the United Nations) has also published an article detailing why The Right to Food is a Basic Human Right.

But it is not just the ‘right to food’ that is important. It is the right to healthful, nutritious food.

Here’s How You Can Honor Human Rights Day

So…what can you do to raise awareness and celebrate Human Rights Day this year?

  1. Dr. Rosane Oliveira and Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf With LeeksPractice Thankfulness: Spend time to appreciate what you have and the rights that you might take for granted in your daily life.
  2. Make a Donation: Whether it be a monetary gift or volunteering your time with a Human Rights Organization, plan to make some sort of donation to help the cause.
  3. Spread the Word: If you are just now learning about Human Rights Day, it is likely that your friends and family might not know about it, so be sure to tell them!
  4. Participate in the Online Discussion: Talk about human rights on social media and make a point to share stories and/or information related to the topic to help raise awareness.
  5. Honor Your Right to Food: Celebrate your basic human right to food by making a new plant-based recipe! Our Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf With Leeks is a delicious weeknight meal to share with your family.

However you celebrate Human Rights Day, remember to keep human rights, and specifically the right to food, at the forefront of your mind throughout the year. Our small, individual contributions to support human rights do matter.