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Be yourself, be aware

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One day for human rights. The 60th anniversary of the United Declarations of Human Rights (UDHR) occurs on 10 December 2008 and many campaigns aiming at its celebration throughout the world.

"The values we share - respect for the rule of law and the dignity of the person, fairness and equitable treatment, tolerance and the acceptance of diversity and the fundamental principle of democratic participation - are inherent both in our laws and in the Universal Declaration." Besides the many cultural programmes, you can e.g. sign a petition to have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights printed in passports.

Until the adoption of the UNDHR including also the declaration of the four essential human freedoms (freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from fear and freedom from want) upon which the world has to be founded, the notion of human rights has a long way to go.

When the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen) was adopted by the National Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante) on 27 August, 1789 during the French Revolution it was the first step toward writing a constituent in France. Despite the fact that this declaration provided rights only for the male population of France, it has a huge impact on the national constitutions and on the development of the human rights throughout the world. The Declaration, thanked for its violent export and the dissemination of the notion of human rights by the French armies has also influenced and inspired many other written constitutions and universal documents at a global level. There are many other steps before and after that – like the Bill of Rights of England and the USA, that lead the human kind to be aware of the equality of all human beings and finally after two bloody and shameful World War the humanity were mature enough to declare the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948 in Paris within the frame of a newly established international institution, the United Nations.

According to the Wikipedia the Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the "Most Translated Document", which is a fairly a good result. However I may bet on the Bible in a friendly contest. Eleanor Roosevelt, who was the first chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights that drafted the Declaration announced at the United Nation's National Assembly on 10 December 1948, and the UDHR was adopted by a vote of 48 in favour, 0 against, with 8 abstentions (unfortunately Hungary was among the latest as a member of the Soviet Block).

After many years the adoption of the UDHR is a significant international commemoration marked each year on 10 December and is known as Human Rights Day or International Human Rights Day and many campaigns aiming at its celebration throughout the world. In brief on this day we celebrate the faith in fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human beings as well as our immense right to be ourselves without others prejudice. I may call for a superhero nowadays, like Batman or his other friends because I feel that these days a piece of paper is not enough to have a huge impact on the current situations in our violent and threaten world. However every year I feel the urgent need to sort my cynical thoughts out for just one day and be part of a hopeful community which is not blind and negligent toward the efforts to change the world with not just words but actions as well.

In Budapest the Gödör Club provides great programmes to celebrate this notion with interactive workshops, roundtables conversations, exhibitions, documentaryfilms and concerts (Jazzrael, Kozma Orsi Quartet, Másfél, Irie Mafia Sound System) as well. The event is organized by Amnesty International, the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI), The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), the NANE Woman's Rights Association and the Anthropolis Association. You may find the whole programme here

So be yourself no just on that day but on every day all through the year and try not to force others to be other than themselves.