A Fight For Everyone
The right to human dignity is craved by every human being. It is a right, however, that is often mistakenly believed to be fought for by specific communities. Taking a quick look at some of the world’s leading anti-trafficking organizations, it can appear that the people on the front lines of fighting modern slavery are religious. In fact, a large driver behind the civil rights movement in the U.S. has been deeply rooted in and supported by religious fervor, which champions the idea that we are all free and equal in God’s eye. The recognition of the church’s role in such movements can be daunting for someone who is not religious. In spite of this, it is important for us to recognize that the fight to end modern day slavery is a universal human issue; the fight for human rights is a matter that implicates everyone, not just those belonging to a particular demographic.
Human rights, as defined by United Nations, are “rights inherent to all human beings, [regardless of] nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.” Thus, the definition of human rights extends to each and every person on this earth, despite the individual differences we all harbor. The United Nations has recognized the pertinence of this universal issue when it created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in December 1948. The UDHR represents a collaborative effort between the world’s leaders to enumerate the individual rights everyone is entitled to. These rights, which are affirmed in over thirty different articles in the UDHR, are a result of a multilateral effort to recognize that human rights are to be fought for by everyone.
Human rights, as defined by United Nations, are “rights inherent to all human beings, [regardless of] nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.”
A global acknowledgment that human rights should be guaranteed to everyone is a powerful acknowledgement - it signifies that despite all of our differences, we can come together for this one issue in which we all have a stake in. Thus, there are many ways this universal fight has been acknowledged by local nonprofits and organizations - all of which recognize the pertinence of framing this fight as global one that requires everyone’s participation. As Jack Donnelly delineates in his book, Universal Human Rights, we can all relate to this fight because “human rights are literally the rights that one has simply because one is a human being.”
Accordingly, there are many non-religious organizations aimed to stop slavery in its tracks that have been widely successful in their efforts. Take the Massachusetts Coalition to End Human Trafficking (MCEHT) for example. It seeks to fight against the injustices of modern day slavery by connecting all community members to the cause. They agree that the fight must be inclusive for all as they reiterate on their website, “MCEHT is a diverse group of organizations and community members in MA who believe that everyone has a crucial role in preventing, identifying, and ending human trafficking.” This organization believes that everyone, including teachers, businessmen, athletes, adults, children and many more, all have a critical role to play in the promotion of human dignity.
A global acknowledgment that human rights should be guaranteed to everyone is a powerful acknowledgement - it signifies that despite all of our differences, we can come together for this one issue in which we all have a stake in.
Adamo Nail Bar is another wonderful organization that utilizes the strengths of many individuals to combat the ills of modern day slavery. This company teaches survivors of human trafficking how to become professional manicurists with state certification. The goal of this company is to create a sustainable means of income for women who would otherwise be financially insecure throughout their rehabilitation efforts. This nail bar takes the form of a traveling airstream boutique that offers full time employment for survivors; and it extends its services to the greater Austin community! Adamo Nail Bar is another example of an organization that wields the strengths from many individuals (in both the religious and non-religious community) in the fight against modern day slavery.
There are a multitude of successful organizations that champion the fight to end modern day slavery as an inclusive, universal one. It also remains true that many anti-human trafficking organizations rely on the donations and partnerships of faith-based organizations. This dependency, however, only reinforces the idea that the fight to end modern day slavery is one that is contingent upon a diverse body of interests - including both the religious and the non-religious, the developed and the developing world, both men and women alike. The fight to promote human dignity is one that implicates every human being; we all have a stake to play in ensuring that the right to live freely is not transgressed. Affecting nearly 45 million people in over 167 countries, human trafficking is a multilateral industry and as such, its remedy requires a joint effort between the people from the different countries, faiths, cultures it affects.
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About the Author
Sarah Beech is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin who is studying psychology and government. She is most passionate about fighting against the various human rights abuses that occur around us. In her free time, she likes to watch Netflix, hang out with her friends, and try new restaurants. Her favorite quote is, "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" (from A Cinderella Story).