Human Dignity and Human Rights
"We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us--and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action." 1 John 3:16-18
In the last decade, more than 700 humanitarian workers have made the ultimate sacrifice while striving to help those most in need in some of the world’s most hostile environments. Thousands more have endured bombing, kidnapping, attacks, hijacking, robbery and rape.
To honor all humanitarians and increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities worldwide, the United Nations General Assembly has chosen to dedicate 19 August to commemorate World Humanitarian Day.
The date is highly symbolic. On 19 August 2003, a truck packed with a ton of explosives deliberately drove into the United Nations office in Iraq, killing 22 people. Among them was Sergio Vieira de Mello, then the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Under-Secretary-General of OCHA from 1998 to 2001 and longtime humanitarian.
This commemoration also takes place at a time when humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted by extremists and armed groups and when humanitarian needs are on the rise.
In 2008 more than 9 million children died before their fifth birthday, most of them succumbing to a combination of diseases that could easily have been prevented or treated. Malnutrition still contributes to more than a third of these deaths. And every year, 1.8 million people die from diarrhea and other water-related diseases.
Gender-based violence is also high on the agenda of the humanitarian community and has reached epidemic proportions in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
ResourcesMaterial on World Humanitarian Day from United Nations
Q & A
Delivering Aid, Despite the Risk
In a world in turmoil, we are called to speak out for the injustices being done to our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This section is where you will find more information about torture and detention, gender equality, immigration rights, and UN resolutions and conventions. We pray that it equips you the resources you need to go forth and speak to your legislators about the need for human dignity and human rights.
The Journal of Lutheran Ethics
featured human rights in their February 2009 issue. Click here
to read the consultation documents on human rights.
Following are links to resources which may also be helpful.Torture and DetentionStatus of WomenUN Resolutions and ConventionsImmigration