The Status of Human Rights

April is Genocide and Human Rights Awareness Month. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948 by the UN), “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

So let’s see…..

In my backyard:

  •   Poverty in Blair Co. (2006-2010) = 12.9% of people
  •   Poverty in PA (2006-2010) = 12.4% or people, 16.9% of kids


  •   Poverty in U.S. = 15.1% (46.2 million people), 22% of kids in 2010
  •   7,500 hate crimes reported in 2008
  •   1 in 6 women sexually assaulted in the US
  •   Human trafficking = 17,500 people each year into the US


  •    ½ of the world’s population (3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day
  •    350 million kids go to bed hungry each night
  •    25,000 kids die a day
  •    2/3 of illiterate adults are women
  •    1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water
  •    31.3 million adults and 2.1 million children were living with HIV in 2008
  •    2,800 children under five in Africa die a day due to Malaria
  •    A genocide rages in Darfur, Sudan

So much for being born free and equal. What must change in our backyard, in our state, our country and world to end oppression, exploitation, genocide?  We must have the political will to take on this structural violence.   

About Lee Ann De Reus

Executive Director, DV LEAP; Co-founder, Panzi Foundation USA
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