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I woke up this morning, grateful to God for the gift of life, friends and family but more importantly, for the opportunity to be able to exercise my rights in the society. I can imagine the mumbling and grumbling at the last part of this statement but really, I went to worship God as I deem fit yesterday with no worries; I belong to associations that please me without fear or prejudice; as a diplomat in the making, I analyse political situations freely on the social media and should the elections come around, I have the right to vote. So, it really isn’t that bad because my voice counts. It is not perfect but in some regions, the people especially the youths cannot boast of the ability to exercise any of their rights as they live in fear, fear of the unknown.
Human rights are the basic and fundamental rights of an individual by virtue of being human. Contrary to certain perceptions or opinions, it is not a privilege but an entitlement. They are entitlements because they are things you are allowed to be, to do and to have. They are there for your protection and to help the human race get along with each other and live in peace. Some of these human rights include the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in Government (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) (culled from the Youths for Human rights).
Today, the 10th of December 2012 is being observed by the United Nations as HUMAN RIGHTS DAY. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted on 10 December 1948 and has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide. It presents an opportunity every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone, everywhere. . This year, the spot light is on the rights of all people-women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and the marginalised- to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making (culled from UN).
Ignorance has played a major role in the violation of human rights as survey shows that 90 percent of people are unable to name more than 3 of their 30 rights (Youth for human rights, 2012). We need to be aware so that our voices are not drowned. Enough of the whining and self-pity and let us get into action. I urge you to make your voice count by being aware of your rights and be prepared to defend and protect those rights. More importantly, join in creating the awareness in order to avoid abuses such as discrimination, oppression and injustice for ‘in justice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere’-Martin Luther King Jr. Join the global observance by visiting the United Human Rights page and Share your thoughts on twitter using #voicecounts   
                      …………………my voice counts and so can yours!                                                                    
1. Right to Equality
2. Freedom from Discrimination
3. Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
4. Freedom from Slavery
5. Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
6. Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
7. Right to Equality before the Law
8. Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
9. Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
10. Right to Fair Public Hearing
11. Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty
12. Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
13. Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country
14. Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
15. Right to Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
16. Right to Marriage and Family
17. Right to Own Property
18. Freedom of Belief and Religion
19. Freedom of Opinion and Information
20. Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
21. Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
22. Right to Social Security
23. Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
24. Right to Rest and Leisure
25. Right to Adequate Living Standard
26. Right to Education
27. Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
28. Right to Social Order that Articulates this Document
29. Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
30. Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights

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