+
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
True

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 theUniversal 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 theone-minute survey to help inform the UN's thinking and priorities.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

Keep ReadingShow less

Saving the life of one small animal among the billions upon billions of living things on Earth may not seem significant in the big picture, but when that one small animal's life is in your hands, it means the world.

Yassin Elmahgoub is a medical student from Egypt who recently shared the journey of a tiny baby parrot he rescued. The parrot, who he named Mumble, was born with birth defects and wasn't able to stand or walk. With the help of a parrot behavior consultant, Elmahgoub hand-fed Mumble, nursed him to good health and helped him develop mobility.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed more than 8 million times, Elmahgoub shared Mumble's journey from his earliest days until he was finally able to walk on his own.

Keep ReadingShow less