Today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day. Blog Catalog and Amnesty International have joined forces to increase awareness of human rights violations in the world. They have urged the bloggers who have signed up to blog about a human rights issue today.
The first article in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states that:
” All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
The basic rights to life: freedom of speech and religion, freedom from torture, and the right to health, education and an adequate standard of living are violated throughout the world every day.
The recent cyclone in Myanmar is a grim example of this. In Myanmar before the cyclone hit, 90% of the population were living below the poverty line. 60% of the population consisted of women and children. Now thousands of people are dead, missing, homeless, displaced, dispossessed, desperate. They have no homes, no food, no water. There is a real and terrible threat of cholera, malaria, and other diseases.
The people of Myanmar need aid desperately but the country is under a military regime, which is prepared to receive supplies but will not allow foreign aid workers into the country. Without those foreign aid workers there is no guarantee the aid will be distributed at all.
In the aftermath of a national disaster it is one’s right to receive aid if needed. The Burmese generals are denying their people that right. I hope that this movement, this day, will raise awareness of the need in Myanmar for relief and recovery.
Imagine your home, your heart, your life, being hauled apart by the wind and the rain. Imagine the thought of your life, your breath, being peeled back like the husk on an ear of corn, then blown away. Imagine watching your mother die. Your father. Your sister. And being able to do nothing about it. Imagine hearing screams of terror, of pain, and blocking your ears only to realise you are the one doing the screaming.
Imagine afterwards when it is quiet and you can do nothing but stand, all skin and bone, the storm still raging in your veins, unable to recognise the place you have lived in all your life. And knowing, really knowing, with a pain that thrusts its ragged fingers into your heart, that you have nothing but the damp, mouldering clothes you are standing in.
Spread the word, raise awareness, our responsibility is a collective one. One voice can become a thousand voices very quickly. This day isn’t about being part of a fashionable cause, it’s about keeping people alive. Raise your voice. You can make a difference.