The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and on December 10 every year we have the opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights. There are five types of humans’ rights: social, economic, political, cultural, and civil. And each one of them is as important as the next. As time passes, we can see how each generation has grown and changed for the better, but yet today in 2020 people are still fighting for their human rights. Even though in 2020, globally BIPOC represent over 80% of the population, they are still being excluded. History has shown that even though society adapts to new environments and changes, it still seems that society is constant; while we are indeed moving forward, we see that we take some steps back every now and then. All over the world, there are activists fighting for our human rights. This year is quite different, yet the awareness is the same. 

This year’s Human Rights Day theme, Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights, relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has affected every continent and some places are worse than others. At the time of this writing, the United States has surpassed 14 million cases and over 200,000 people have died. The pandemic is not only a health crisis but a socio-economic crisis as well. 2020 has been a very difficult year for many, but it has especially affected the low-income minority communities. While the working class are still exposing themselves to the virus since they cannot stop working, their rights are not at the forefront in this crisis. About 20,000 Amazon workers have contracted COVID-19 and are currently fighting for their rights. The pandemic has made it clear that economic and social rights must be top priorities at the moment. It is critical for people in power to address the inequality the pandemic has fueled and help the working class. 

How do we fight these injustices?

More than ever, we need solidarity and good leadership to defeat this pandemic and its irregularities that have been brought to light. We must advocate for those who are least likely to be heard and keep learning about each Right so we can get more involved. I have seen many businesses asking for customers to keep coming back and continue to make purchases, and people do come. Consumers are retweeting, sharing, posting, etc., about local businesses and how you can support them during the pandemic. Even in hard times, communities, even online communities, love supporting one another, and it is up to us to lift these burdens that the pandemic has brought to the working class, low-income class, and minorities. Transformative justice takes time, but we must keep fighting for our human rights. By getting more involved, we can build back and recover strong. Only the people can truly save the people.

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Arantza Yuja

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