Human rights have come a long way in the past century. But there is still much work to be done.
Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
ADF International is taking this opportunity to celebrate the enormous contributions of the declaration, which ushered in an unprecedented approach to human rights as belonging to all people.
ADF International also wants to call upon the international community to recommit to the urgent work of ensuring human rights for all people. That is why they have launched the I’m Human, Right? Campaign. “We hope the I’m Human, Right? Campaign will draw attention to the violations of basic fundamental freedoms faced by countless people across the globe,” says Adina Portaru, Legal Counsel for ADF International in Brussels.
And there are many people across the globe whose fundamental human rights are being violated. People like Ruben, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, and Tom Mortier.
Ruben is the only member of his family who can see—both his mother and his father, a pastor, are blind. And little Ruben has seen a lot. When Ruben was just six years old, his father was holding a worship meeting in their church in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh when an angry mob stormed inside and began assaulting worshipers.
The police came, but instead of diffusing the situation, they arrested Ruben and his family. They separated his father from him and his mother and physically beat them.“We suffered in the jail and my son kept crying,” recounted Ruben’s mother, Bhuri.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in numerous Indian provinces. Christians are a minority and, many times, civil authorities easily side with mobs against them. Violent mobs are on the rise as the nationalist Hinduvta ideology (which opposes all non-Hindu religions) gains popularity. Civil authorities, often under pressure from such mobs, jail Christians like Ruben’s parents under anti-conversion laws.
According to Article 18 of the UDHR, every person “has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”
Ruben and his family are human, right?
The Wunderlich Family (Germany)
In 2013, several armed German police entered the Wunderlichs' home and took their four children aged seven to four. Government social workers grabbed the children as they were screaming and crying out for their parents.
What necessitated such a brutal separation? The Wunderlichs had committed the crime of homeschooling.
Dirk and Petra wanted to teach their children their Christian faith in their home. They believed that they could give their children the best education possible—so much so that they moved from city to city, looking for a place where homeschooling was not under threat by the government.
Germany is a hostile environment for homeschoolers. In fact, state officials only returned the Wunderlich children to their parents’ partial custody on the condition that they would attend public school.
Article 26 of the UDHR says that “parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Germany violated this basic right when they separated the Wunderlich family.
The Wunderlichs are human, right?
Tom Mortier (Belgium)
One day Tom, a university professor in Belgium, received a phone call from the hospital. The caller told him his mother had been euthanized and that he should get her affairs in order.
Tom was shocked. His mother was not terminally ill—but she did suffer from chronic depression. Doctors determined that her depression was “untreatable” and the only way to “help” her was to end her life.
Before this moment, Tom had never given much thought to Belgium’s extremely liberal euthanasia laws. If a person suffering from a terminal illness wanted to end their life, then why stop them? But in Tom’s mother’s case, the doctors surrounding her at the time of her death were clearly not unbiased supporters.
The oncologist who administered the lethal injection serves on the government’s euthanasia commission, which “evaluates” euthanasia cases after the fact. He also co-founded a group called Life End Information Forum, to which Tom’s mother unexpectedly donated 2,500 euros shortly before her request to receive a lethal injection was granted.
Tom’s mother’s depression did not lessen her dignity. Article 3 of the UDHR ensures that “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”
Tom’s mother was human, right?
You can stand for human rights across the globe by signing this statement of support.
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