As we enter the 21st century in earnest, the need for the protection of human rights is evident. This issue is not a new one, but it is as important as ever before. The ideas behind human rights are universal; they pertain to each and every one of us. Accordingly, the protection of human rights is everyone’s job, and should not be confined to a single group of people. Despite numerous efforts to establish universal standards of human rights, the battle to preserve the freedom of mankind is far from over. While human rights violations are most visible in times of war, there are a host of other factors that contribute to discrimination and inequality seen around the world.
This year’s WorldLink Reader is divided into five sections, each dealing with an important topic related to human rights. In the coming pages, you will find articles that deal with both instances of past rights violations, and actions that are being taken to make sure that that these violations are never repeated. These articles come from a variety of different sources, and we feel that they paint an accurate picture of human rights issues around the world today. By learning about rights violations that occur in our nations, societies, and places of work, hopefully we can move forward to make the world a better place.
When examining the history of human rights, it is easy to become discouraged by the events of the past, and the horrible things humans are capable of. Still, it is important to remember that we have the potential to reverse past wrongs, and work together for a better future. As strange as it might seem, by reading the contents of this year’s WorldLink Reader, you will be well on the way of taking the first steps towards protecting human rights. Through the process of educating yourself in the issues contained in this publication, you are one step closer to transforming the idea of human rights from a dream to a tangible reality.
As you immerse yourself in the Reader, I hope you feel motivated to apply the knowledge you have gained, and work as an agent of change. However daunting the topic of human rights might seem, there is always something you can do to help. Any positive change, no matter how big or small, is progress and a means of creating a more positive future. Achievements concerning human rights will not be realized by individual actions alone, but rather the collective movement of all of mankind towards what is right. It is only when we work together and respect the dignity of our fellow person that we will truly understand the most fundamental right of all – the right to be human.
Eric Nicolas, Canyon Crest Academy
WorldLink 2011 Fall Intern