Here’s what 75 years of human rights looks like. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go
United Nations
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When you think about human rights, it's impossible to disagree that all people are entitled to life, liberty, and the ability to express themselves freely. These are truths that many of us grew up believing. And yet it may surprise you that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document created by the United Nations, which enshrines these rights and more, is only 72 years old.

Since founded 75 years ago to preserve the worth and dignity of all human beings, the United Nations has achieved an unprecedented number of human rights victories. According to new data shared by the organization, every one of the UN's now 193 member states have ratified at least one human rights treaty — 80 percent have ratified at least four. But the leadership in uplifting human rights goes beyond laws, treaties, and agreements.


Human rights victories have snowballed over the past 75 years — creating a huge wave of change. Here are a few of the significant human rights milestones that the United Nations and its member countries have achieved:

Between 1946 and 1986: Regional human rights frameworks were created and adopted in the Americas, Africa, and Europe for the first time.

1965: The United Nations created and adopted the first of its human rights treaties, which are dedicated to bringing an end to discrimination and violence on the conditions of race, culture, and political beliefs. Today, nine core human rights treaties are in force.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

1979: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the UN. Often dubbed the international bill of rights for women, this document both defined the conditions of gender-based discrimination and bound the areas that promote gender equality.

1993: The United Nations established the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote and protect human rights.

2002: The International Criminal Court, the first-ever worldwide court dedicated to investigating and ending crimes against humanity, was founded.

2006: The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was established to promote and protect human rights around the world. It has endorsed a number of resolutions including one on human rights and climate change.

2011: UNHRC adopted the first United Nations resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity – placing the rights of the LGBTI community on the international agenda.

2015: The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs emphasize the responsibilities of member states to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

Wikimedia/Marco Carrasco

Yet, the international community has fallen short many times. The current pandemic has not only threatened the health of the world's population, but has exacerbated existing threats to marginalized communities — including racism, discrimination, and disparity in access to health care — while introducing new ones. Wars, violence, and persecution have forced 70 million people to flee their homes. Refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers searching for safety are instead often met with prejudice or xenophobia. And anger at the injustice and pain of longstanding systemic racism has triggered mass social movements, including Black Lives Matter in the United States and beyond.

For these reasons and many others, the urgent work of the United Nations must continue swiftly. The march for progress can't stop. And as we move through these uncertain times, the UN will continue to fight towards a brighter, safer, more equitable future for all of us.

You can learn more about the goals by checking out "Voice Our Future" — an immersive and interactive reality experience exploring the then, now, and next of some of the most critical challenges of our times. You can also further the reach of your voice by taking the one-minute survey to help inform the UN's thinking and priorities.

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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