“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” - Eleanor Roosevelt
America’s longest serving First Lady couldn’t have said it more graciously and poignantly. This quote was from a speech given on December 10, 1948. Across the world, this date is when we now annually celebrate Human Rights Day.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as we know it's vital to have rights to freedom, dignity, and expression as humans. This also marked the very first time in human history that a global enunciation of human rights came into fruition. Considering what humanity has been through over the course of its existence, this proclamation is arguably one of the major definitive achievements.
As defined by the United Nations, human rights “include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education”.
We are all entitled to this freedom and liberation without any discrimination. In reality though, hatred, egocentrism, the need to be right, segregation, and the like --- blurs the bounds of innate human kindness, understanding and compassion for others.
This day is a continued reminder that every individual born into this planet, whether they are from the far flung of the Earth, are born with basic rights that constitute a dignified life as a human being.
THIS YEAR’S HUMAN RIGHTS THEME
Globally, the world has been overwhelmed by the COVID pandemic. Who could have imagined that in this day and age, with all of the modernity and advancements we have today, this could happen on such a massive scale?
This crisis is not a geographically isolated, disparate case. Rather it is a phenomenon that every nation continues to battle with to this very day.
The pandemic has propelled wide scale poverty, gaps in human rights protection, upsurge in inequality and discrimination. By ensuring human rights, we can also address recovery based on resilience and sustainability.
The Human Rights theme for this year focuses on COVID-19 pandemic: Recover Better- Stand-up for Human Rights. The main goal is to focus on “building back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.”
This is a call for global solidarity, interconnectedness and strengthened recovery efforts in respect to our shared humanity. Even more so, the importance of Human Rights in re-building the world that we aspire it to be.
The impact of COVID-19 is astounding, but as Joy McBrien, Fair Anita’s Founder has stated,
“What if 2020 were an opportunity? What if we utilized this opportunity to really, genuinely care about each others' humanity? What if we used this time intentionally to re-focus on what's important?”
This mindset has fueled Fair Anita to genuinely do its part to extend support most especially to the communities that we work with. From the beginning, we as a social enterprise, rallied for an Emergency Relief Fund, wherein 100% of the proceeds from the sale of our masks goes to communities affected by the pandemic. These funds are given to our artisan partners to help provide resources that they feel best serves the most vulnerable families in their communities.
But it doesn’t stop there!
With this deepened understanding and awareness of the current reality, our mission has become more reinforced than ever.
Human rights are governed by the idea of humankind-ness --- an understanding based on the essence of compassion towards fellow human beings no matter where, what and who they are.
Intrinsic to human rights is respect for dignity. It is the respect that we show to every human being no matter their race, age, gender, religion, status, or difference of opinion. It is the call for equality. It is the voice grounded on the belief that every human being has their fair share to a life of value.
Fair Anita is about the people, from our artisan partners, customers, staff and the community --- and our shared humanity. This is the heart that beats and keeps us thriving. By centering fully on ethical supply chains, and making sure that our partners and their community are cared for, we have proven that by working together as one, we can create a world that every individual can feel safe, valued and respected.
We should never become weary to changing society, culture, and beliefs that stand by a set of universal rights that make us all human.
As we celebrate Human Rights Day, may you be inspired to stand up against inequality to create a world where there is justice.
Always remember, every small act of kindness and compassion does indeed MATTER.