The United Nations voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over 70 years ago. After WWII, the world came to the harsh realization that people were losing respect for one another. If there’s no respect for others, we can’t have a fair and peaceful community. Then in 1948, world leaders came together to set a precedent for what every human life deserves.
ASEZ Volunteers Raise Awareness About Human Rights
Now, Human Rights Day is recognized in December every year. The year 2020 is a unique year to honor such an achievement. The pandemic has devastated communities and exposed inequities that have burdened the underserved.
ASEZ volunteers hosted a webinar to commemorate Human Rights Day. They invited community leaders and professors from different universities to share their expertise.
University Professors and Local Officials Join ASEZ to Share Their Knowledge
Dr. David Proctor from Tufts University; Dr. David Guinn from SUNY Albany; and Dr. Christopher Zajchowski from Old Dominion University all brought their expertise.
Dr. Proctor highlighted how human rights advance in response to disasters. During the coronavirus pandemic, human rights give a standard of what to address. Additionally, it helps us to know how the quality of life for all people can be improved.
Dr. David Guinn explained that the declaration of Human Rights has no legal binding. But it has created ways to make national and local laws. He stressed how important it is to advocate for systemic changes that benefit everyone.
Dr. Zajchowski explained air quality as a basic human right. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million deaths per year are related to air pollution exposure. Furthermore, those exposures increased during the COVID-19 crisis. He also mentioned everyday things we can do to reduce air pollutants.
David Suarez, Albany County District Attorney emphasized how people become more aware of human rights after disasters. In addition, he touched on the limits of the justice system during the pandemic.
Assemblyman Nader Sayegh joined the volunteers as a keynote speaker. He discussed ASEZ’s efforts and their impact on the local community. “ASEZ has made great efforts to impact the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised by putting forth positive effort and energy,” he said of the volunteers. “It’s a great example of youth at the high school and university level to have a significant impact on the success and well-being of any community.”
A Pledge to Advocate for Human Rights
The coronavirus pandemic has affected many people in different ways. However, it doesn’t mean people’s basic human rights should be taken away. ASEZ strives to make a positive impact on its neighbors, especially in times of need. To see more about ASEZ and their volunteer services, click on Activities.