Human Rights Round-up

To go with the powerful images that Dispatch readers from around the world have sent in, here are what some op-eds and blog posts are saying about what today’s 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights means.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter makes an appeal for the new American administration to leverage the full weight of the United States’ “moral footprint” to support and protect freedom and democracy in places like Egypt, Pakistan, and DR Congo. (On the same WaPo pages, Michael Gerson shares my irritation at the EU’s sidestepping of peacekeeping responsibilities in the latter country.)

Marcia Yerman, writing in Huff Post, stresses the importance of not remaining silent in the face of human rights abuses.

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, sees value in the cost that the Declaration imposes — at the least, the “power to shame” on the international stage — on governments that do not take adequate heed of human rights.

AC Grayling, finishing up his ten-day blogging campaign, says that the Declaration is not just better than what came before, but is fundamentally good — even if it’s not done being built yet.

And in the eyes of Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the danger posed by climate change is also very much one of human rights.