The Thread of Human Rights


Adam McLane, The Youth Cartel


Today is Human Rights Day. Since 1950, the United Nations has recognized December 10th as a day to commemorate the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

So what does that have to do with Latha in India? Everything. As we see in the video, life’s circumstances found her in a place where few opportunities stood before her.

Simply put, World Vision was able to intervene and walk beside Latha, not as her final solution, but to offer her family assistance to get Latha back in school. In her own words, “After leaving the company I have freedom to study… Everything is possible through education”

“The right to development is an inalienable human right: every person is entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.” (Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights) Latha’s story is important simply, yet profoundly, because she is a person.


I think it’s an interesting coincidence that the first of many public memorials for Nelson Mandela will take place on Human Rights Day.

“From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from Scandinavia to the Caribbean, heads of state from around the world are descending on South Africa to take part in an enormous farewell to Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.”

“Pope John Paul’s funeral brought together 70 heads of state & 14 leaders of other regions,” Mr. Monyela said on Twitter on Monday. “We’re already over 91 & counting.”

Nicholas Kulish, New York Times, December 9th 2013

Human Rights DayWhy will the world stop to honor Nelson Mandela? One reason is that he championed human rights of his fellow countrymen, helping draw attention to and reset the standard for other countries to care about the human rights of other countries. Mandela said, “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” And the world took notice when he put those words to action with his life. He stood up to the common belief that one country should mind it’s own business about the human rights of other countries, and the world has changed for the better as a result.

So today, Nelson Mandela will be celebrated not just for his own life but also because he stands as an embodiment of the accomplishments a single person can have in the area of human rights.

Take Action

As you think about Latha’s story and you hear the celebrations of Nelson Mandela today come from leaders of all kinds, ask yourself this question:

“What can I do?”

Question: Practically speaking, what’s one action you can take today to help someone like Latha?