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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

United Nations Day

In 1945, the charter of the United Nations went into effect and the world entered into a new era of cooperation among countries around the world. In honor of this monumental event, every October 24 since 1948 has been celebrated as United Nations Day.

The UN’s roots are in the League of Nations, an organization formed after World War I and promoted by President Woodrow Wilson, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. While the League ultimately failed, the idea of an international organization to keep world order was taken up again after World War II, growing out of the establishment of the Allied Powers during the war.

While the success and effectiveness of the UN has been questioned–notably by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign–it has been a forum for countries to air grievances, cooperate on humanitarian matters, act as a check against aggression and promote human rights, a cause that was taken up by Eleanor Roosevelt and that resulted in the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

United Nations Research Topic

United Nations Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

You can use eLibrary to supplement your Social Studies class lessons on history, civics and world affairs. Our Research Topics are a good way to provide students with background information and in-depth articles, videos and more. Possible strategies:  Assign whole RTs or specific articles from them as background for discussion; have students select topics for research, selecting from a list of RTs; have students search in eLibrary to discover RTs and other resources related to the UN.

See the following for a sample of relevant resources eLibrary has to offer:

United Nations

League of Nations

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

Woodrow Wilson

Eleanor Roosevelt

Every Day Is Human Rights Day!

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10, commemorating the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first Human Rights Day was celebrated in 1950 to bring global recognition to the Declaration as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who is credited with its inspiration, referred to the Declaration as the “international Magna Carta for all mankind.” The theme for this year’s observance is Human Rights 365, which emphasizes that every day of the year should be Human Rights Day.

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York, 11/1949 [Public domain], via National Archives and Records Administration

Eleanor Roosevelt and United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York, 11/1949 [Public domain], via National Archives and Records Administration

What Are Human Rights?

“Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.”–UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

SIRS Leading Issues: Human Rights via ProQuest SIRS Researcher

SIRS Leading Issues: Human Rights via ProQuest SIRS Researcher

Educators, you can make human rights the focus in your classroom every day throughout the year by turning to SIRS Issues Researcher’s Leading Issues feature. Spark debate and discussion by engaging students with Essential Questions that include answers and supporting pro/con viewpoint articles which are hand-selected by SIRS editors. Promote critical thinking skills and more in-depth analysis by exploring a topic overview, an interactive feature, a timeline, statistics and more. The “see also” section provides links to more information (including magazine and newspaper articles, government documents, primary sources, graphics and multimedia, reference materials, and websites) on related subjects such as child labor, ethnic relations, genocide, human trafficking, Holocaust denial, torture and more.

Every day really should be Human Rights Day, as the many facets of this issue have implications and significance for every person throughout the world.

Are Human Rights Universal?

Declaration of Human Rights

“Declaration of Human Rights.” Photo credit: Vibragiel via photopin cc

According the American Heritage Dictionary, human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Basic human rights are valued by some governments more than others. Regardless, citizens across cultural and geographic boundaries seek rights like freedom of expression, freedom to choose a religion, freedom from torture and the right to vote. But is the concept of human rights universal?

In SIRS Issues Researcher, ProQuest editors have posed this essential question in the Leading Issue for Human Rights, Universal.

While some stand by the belief that human rights apply to everyone regardless of their culture, there are others who believe human rights are defined and limited by where they live or their customs and day-to-day challenges.

The concept of universal human rights is outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. This important document has become a highly regarded cornerstone within international law. The declaration describes over two dozen forms of human freedom.

What is your declaration?

Investigate this Leading Issue further with ProQuest resources: