I remember learning about what it meant to be a bystander in elementary school. I remember adults telling me that if I saw someone being bullied, I needed to take action. I needed to stand up for the person being bullied and not be a bystander. This same lesson should be applied to cases where human rights are violated.
In 1948, the United Nations met in Paris to determine the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," essentially a list of rights that all humans should be entitled to have. This document was created by nations from all over the world and has been translated into over 500 languages, which makes it the most translated document in the world. It is supposed to serve as a way to create international law and order and ensure that people's rights aren't being violated.
While reading this, I was surprised that some of the articles were in the document because I could think of many violations currently going on in the US and abroad. I'm sure that you're going to be surprised with some of these as well.
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
You'd think that this would be a given, but even the United States is violating this basic right with everything that is going on at the US-Mexico border. There have been over around 8,000 families separated, children hit with tear gas, people unable to get proper medical attention, and cases where people have died.
"Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."
I think that this should speak for itself, yet there are millions of refugees all around the world who can't find a safe place to go. One of the more prominent problems is the Syrian refugee crisis, where over 13 million people have been displaced. Meanwhile, our President Trump doesn't even want to help these people, claiming that "they could be ISIS."
"Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work."
The wage gap in the United States is real. The Institute for Women's Policy Research reported that "In 2017, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent."
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
Free and equal. This declaration came out in 1948, but let's not forget about the segregation and Jim Crow laws that occurred in the United States during the mid-1900s. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "I have a dream" speech in 1963, which was 15 years after this declaration came out!
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion"
There are still many countries around the world that try to limit and censor the information disseminated to their citizens and are against a certain religion. In China and Iran, there have been multiple cases where Christians have been detained or arrested. There are also plenty of authoritarian regimes, like North Korea, where people aren't allowed to express negative thoughts about the government.
I suggest you read the full list of rights and contemplate how they are being violated in your community or around the world. There is no time to be a bystander when there are millions of people around the world who don't have these basic rights.