December 10 of every year is the United Nations Day of Human Rights.
Human rights are something that we need to talk about every year. It seems that each year there are many countries that forget that humans have rights. We see terrible war. We see terrible trouble. We see bad governments controlling people, hurting people, and sometimes killing people.
Human rights are something that all people need to have. In Japan and Canada, because we are free, we sometimes forget that human rights are not in all countries around the world. In many countries in the Middle East, like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, women and girls are not free. In countries like North Korea and China, people are not free to say what they think. If someone does not agree with the North Korean or Chinese government it is very dangerous to say your opinion or to speak about your feelings.
Human Rights Day was started in 1948, so this week it is only 73 years old.
What are the rights that are in the Human Rights Act?
There are many, but here are some of the most important.
You have the right to live your life.
You have the right to be free, and to go where you like.
You have the right to have a home.
You have the right to religion, and you have the right to have no religion.
You have the right to say your feeling and to speak your opinion.
You have the right to marry the person you love.
You have the right to start your own family.
You have the right to enjoy your property and your home.
You have the right to education.
You have the right to choose your leaders.
There are many more rights, but these are some of the big ones. When we think about what rights we have, we can feel happy and grateful to our governments and societies that protect us and keep our rights safe. But, we must also talk every year about our rights, and to remember our rights, because sometimes a bad leader may try to take them away.
You are students, and some of these rights are not for you now. But when you get older and you want to have a partner in your life, and you want to get married, or want to have a religion, or want to own a house, or want to choose the next leader, you must have your rights.
Japan and Canada are countries that have democracy. But we need to always think about and do our best to learn about how to keep democracy safe and keep rights for life and happiness for the people.
Education in history and social studies are very important. You must read the news. You must read history. You must understand how government works. You must know how to vote and think about how to choose a leader. In these things you must not be lazy.
Don’t be shy to ask questions about history and about the news. This country is your country. The future of Japan is your future. Remember that you have rights as a free person. But also remember that you have a job and a very serious responsibility to understand rights and learn how to keep them safe for your life and for the children of the future.