I Have the Right, You Have the Right, We All Have the Right....

By Charlotte Bennardo

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Photo courtesy Min An, Pexels


Human Rights Day was created by the United Nations on Dec 10, 1948, 71 years ago. It is described as "A UN campaign that calls for people to know and push for their rights no matter where they are."

We have our rights here, right?

Well, actually not all of us. When children are bullied or abused, when people of various cultures, religions, ethnicities, or gender are abused, discriminated against, or denied the opportunities and freedoms many of us have and mostly take for granted, their rights are trampled on. It's not just a problem in far away, third world countries, but everywhere. Like Eleanor Roosevelt stated, these rights have to sacrosanct within each of us- in our homes, workplaces, jobs, schools, churches, communities, etc. so that we promote it in all we do. In 2019, the theme was Youth standing up for human rights. As it says on the United Nations website,

"Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social transformation. They are at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for positive change and bring fresh ideas and solutions for a better world."

And because we are writers here on Smack Dab, and books are our thing, here are some books on the subject of human rights that might interest young readers:

We Are All Born Free, by Amnesty International

The First Lady Who fought For Human Rights, Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, by Baby Professor

James and the Fireburn: An Anti-bullying and Human Rights Story Inspired by Caribbean History, by Angela Golden Bryan

Our Rights: How Kids Are Changing the World, by Janet Wilson

Nelson Mandela: World Leader for Human Rights, by Matt Doeden

Global Issues: Human Rights, by National Geographic Learning

The Surprising Adventures of Balthazar (Peace, Justice, Human Rights and Freedom in Latin America), by Claudio Orrego Vicuna

Universal Declaration of Human rights: An Adaptation for Children, by Ruth Rocha and Otavio Roth

My Little Book of Big Freedoms: The Human Rights Act in Pictures, by Chris Riddell and Amnesty International

Kindness Starts With You, by Jacqueline Stagg

Mine and Yours: Human Rights for Kids, by Joy Berry

I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids, by Gabi Garcia and Charity Russell

I Know My Rights: A Children's Guide to the Bill of Rights and Individual Liberty, by Rory Margraf and Andrea Mironiuc

These are just a few of many books on the subject. To learn more about this special day, check out the history, creators, and goals of Human Rights Day on the United Nations website here: https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day