On Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, bring attention to ways we can work toward the standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, like the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) core values, recognizes the inherent dignity of all people in the world.
Spark conversation and action in your community groups, congregations, and networks on social media using these five resources on human rights issues:
"Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law." –Article 6, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
AFSC offers seven principles for fair and humane immigration reform in this downloadable infographic, available in both English and Spanish.
Ending torture in prisons
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." –Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The solitary confinement of incarcerated people is an inhumane practice of isolating people for 23 hours a day with inadequate medical and mental health treatment. Prison isolation fits the definition of torture as stated in several international human rights treaties, and thus constitutes a violation of human rights law.
In The prison inside the prison, AFSC offers a history and overview of solitary confinement practices. Inalienable Rights is a resource for those working in the criminal justice system on how to weave the language of international human rights standards into arguments for policy changes. You can also check out Survivor's Speak: Prisoner testimonies of torture in United States prisons and jails, a report presented to the UN Committee Against Torture in November 2014.
"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control." –Article 25, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
An essential condition for peace is having the resources and security to feed and employ your community. Food, land, and water are fundamental human rights.
In New Mexico, AFSC offers farmer-to-farmer training programs, advocates for policies that support sustainable farms, and helps connect low-income people to resources to support their work. Lessons from those experiences are shared in Farming for a sustainable community: A training manual, in which you’ll find models for land selection, soil preparation, crop planning, cultivation, handling, marketing and season extension with point-by-point instruction, case studies, illustrations, and descriptions.
"Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property." –Article 17, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The displacement and dispossession of Palestinians from their land and homes is at the core of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The Israeli Committee against Home Demolitions estimates that more than 26,000 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967.
Forced displacement in Palestine and Israel provides history and context for the tensions around the displacement of Palestinians from their homes.
"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
–Article 3, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The use of unmanned, armed drones is changing the way that security and warfare are approached, both domestically along the U.S.-Mexico border and internationally in conflict zones. Thousands have been killed, many of them children, many of them peacemakers, creating resentment, hatred and violence. It is a unilateral, institutionalized war that by-passes the rule of law, prolonging conflict and creating long term insecurity.
In Drones: A briefing paper for staff, field organizers and allies, you can learn more about the history of drone development, current military and domestic use of drones, and the legal ramifications of drone warfare.