Maui AIDS Foundation recently inspired Maui County to officially recognize December 10 as Human Rights Day. Mayor Alan Arakawa issued a proclamation to make December 10 officially Human Rights Day in the county after reviewing a proposal by Maui AIDS Foundation Medical Case Manager Justin Bibee, a long-time advocate for human rights.
Human Rights Day is observed around the world every year on December 10, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This year marked the 70th anniversary of the declaration, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth ,or other status. According to the United Nations website, it is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
The Maui County proclamation, shared on Maui AIDS Foundation social media, reads in part: “The United Nations Association of Hawaii and the County of Maui is dedicated to educating and mobilizing local communities to build a stronger network of global citizens and leaders to create a more prosperous, safe, just and sustainable world for all humans.”
“No one is unaffected by human rights,” said Bibee, whose advocacy includes service as a United States Peace Corps volunteer, founding Humanac, Morocco‘s first ever volunteer-based human rights organization, and authoring several books on human rights. “Every day, the dedicated staff and volunteers at Maui AIDS Foundation – along with so many other organizations here in Maui County – fight on the front lines and behind the scenes for clients’ right to healthcare, right to housing and their right to live life with dignity.”
In this era of women’s issues, it is often noted that Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first lady from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt was appointed in 1946 as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly by President Harry S. Truman. Roosevelt served as the first chairperson of the commission and at a time of increasing East-West tensions, the former first lady used her enormous prestige and credibility with both superpowers to steer the drafting process toward its successful completion. In 1968, she was posthumously awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize.
On December 10, Maui AIDS Foundation participated in the social media theme of #StandUp4HumanRights, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms to acknowledge the day and publish the proclamation. Maui AIDS Foundation can be found on social media under the username @mauiaids.
Maui AIDS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was established in 1986 as Maui County’s only AIDS service organization. Along with federally-funded case management services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, the organization provides confidential and free testing for HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis by appointment at (808) 242-4900. Office hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
More information about Human Rights Day can be found at Un.org/en/events/humanrightsday. For information on Maui AIDS Foundation, visit MauiAIDS.org.
Photo courtesy of Maui AIDS Instagram