Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world. — Eleanor Roosevelt
While I missed posting about this in my own time zone I’ve been conscious that 10 December is International Human Rights Day. As an Australian I’m deeply appreciative of my own country’s contribution to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It was while our former Foreign Minister Dr. Herbert Vere Evatt was President of the third regular session of the General Assembly that the UDHR was adopted by the United Nations
Maria Dimitrakarakou’s Blog Post
Today I was pleased to receive a Tweet from my friend Maria Dimitrakarakou (@dimitrakarakou) drawing my attention to her latest blog post.
I first met Maria in 2015, since then we’ve often shared ideas about a mutual interest, the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. I’ve also come to learn of Maria’s deep commitment to human rights.
I guess, had I not received the Tweet from Maria, I might have overlooked the day. Well, not exactly overlooked it, but perhaps not given it the prominence it deserves. As it is I’m scrambling to post this while it is still 10 December at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Maria’s approach to the global issue is consistent with that of Eleanor Roosevelt’s. I believe that she recognises the fundamental reality that human rights begin in small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.
A fundamental statement on human rights
There is no doubt that 10 December remains a most important date, though human rights do have a longer history. Every time I read these words I’m reminded that protecting human rights is not a new idea.
Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matthew 25:45