December 10th is the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the UN. This was and is a milestone document, proclaiming the inalienable rights of human beings. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Since the adoption of the Declaration on December 10, 1948, human rights have become recognized across the globe. This document has served as a foundation for expanding protections to individuals and groups that are vulnerable and in need of recognition.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is made up of a Preamble and 30 Articles, outlining the protections. The document is far too long to present here, but the first 7 Articles do present a picture of our rights as human beings, as offered by the UN and ratified by the Member States.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Readers can view the full Declaration [HERE].
It is inspiring and very hopeful for all of us to look at what humanity has achieved in the last 75 years, and even before then as we struggled to being an end to slavery, allow voting rights to women, and so many more steps in climbing this mountain to human rights for everyone, everywhere.
B Corporations and Human Rights
We speak often about our B Corporation values and their relationship to human rights. We would like to share with readers a document published at Bcorporation.net this November entitled “Impact Topic: Human Rights.”
The introduction states, “Human Rights as a topic is central to the concepts of justice, equality, and dignity for all individuals. Whilst historically an implicit topic for B Corp Certification, the latest drafts take a more explicit and concrete stance. Its inclusion as a separate topic aims to ensure B Corps take a much-needed leap forward on human rights due diligence.”
The article goes on to state, “This entails treading carefully, mindful of potential negative impacts on all people that may be affected by a company’s operations: the company’s employees, its supply chain, and any end consumers. It’s a big and perhaps daunting scope, but the key to due diligence is knowing where to focus. And this requires companies to operate with their ‘eyes open’, being self-aware, proactive, and sincere in looking at how their operations touch people’s lives. It also requires constant learning and a commitment to continuous improvement over time. Eventually, Human Rights due diligence should become second nature, much in the same way food safety or financial due diligence have become mainstream expectations of companies.”
Read the full Bcorporation.net article [HERE].
Finally, we would like to share a quote from AMS CEO, Jay Catlin.
“As a B Corp, International Human Rights Day has a special meaning to AMS. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – proclaiming that all human beings are guaranteed dignity and equality – is a statement that AMS will loyally advocate until these rights become reality for everyone.”
We are B Corp Certified and we are proud to be certified. But we also hope for a world in the future where certification has no significance, because everyone is upholding the core values.
Happy Human Rights Day to All. We human beings have grown in 75 years, immeasurably, and may we continue to grow into a world where “Human Rights” is a given.