Human Rights Day 2015 is the 67th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was adopted December 10, 1948.
It also marks the start of a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of two International Covenants on Human Rights, adopted December 16, 1966, which, together with the Universal Declaration, form the International Bill of Human Rights.
The two Covenants are:
- Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Ratified by 168 countries), and
- Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Ratified by 164 countries)
The Augustinians invite and encourage all who identify with Augustinian spirituality and traditions to mark this anniversary.
2015 Motto: Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.
This theme "aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear -- which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago," according to the United Nations web site.
Human Rights Day themes mesh well with the long Bible-based Christian tradition of compassion, and Catholic pro-life teaching on the dignity of every human person. The Bible encourages Christians to promote and defend basic human rights.
Jesus said, “As often as you did this for one of my least brothers or sisters, you did it for me” (cf. Matthew 25: 31 - 46). James urges, “My brothers and sisters, what good is it to profess faith without practicing it? Such faith has no power to save, has it? ... faith that does nothing in practice ... is thoroughly lifeless,” (cf. James 2: 14 - 26)
The Augustinian Order, through its observance of Human Rights Day, through its Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O.) at the U. N., and through its ministries throughout the world, seeks to put into action the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, as found in the Bible and in the traditional social teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Midwest Augustinians invite you to observe Human Rights Day by learning, praying, and acting to ensure that basic human rights are respected everywhere.