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Looking Inward: Los Angeles and the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Photo by tao_zhyn on Flickr

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UHDR), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The 30 articles of this declaration were written after the Second World War and represent the first global expression of human rights worldwide. The UHDR is the most translated document in the world and has inspired many international treaties and laws.

Now is as good a time as ever to remind ourselves of the human rights issues prevailing abroad, in the US, and here in Los Angeles. Violence and human rights abuses exist around the world, currently in Zimbabwe, Mumbai, Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan, among other regions. Millions go without clean water or enough food. And a global financial crisis is ever present.

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It is easy to focus on human rights abroad, but here in Los Angeles we have our own slew of human rights violations, including a housing crisis, homelessness, ICE raids, police brutality, displacement of communities in the name of development, health care access problems, unprocessed rape kits, and an increasing disparity between the wealthy and the poor. At the same time, there is much reason for hope.