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“All human, all equal”: Human Rights Day 2021

The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021, is ‘Equality’. In a sense, equality is, or ought to be, the theme every year.

The very first sentence of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the UN on 10 December 1948, speaks of “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”; and the first sentence of the first Article is:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Equality is built into the very core and foundation of the idea of human rights, as indeed is dignity. We in the MME Thinktank, founded on 10 December three years ago, can only echo and amplify these inseparable, indispensable ideas.

The idea that we are “all human, all equal” should not need such reiteration and amplification – but it does.

So on our third anniversary, and to mark the Human Rights Day theme of Equality, we are delighted and privileged to publish this link to the recording of our ESRC Festival event, ‘Insights and Intersections’, which took place on Friday, 19 November.

The theme of the event was “Ethnic Minorities’ and Migrants’ Relations with the Environment”, and indeed we heard from a broad range of speakers who provided many invaluable insights on that subject. But another theme quickly began to crystallise as the event progressed: equality.

The environmental crisis is a crisis of equality; or rather of inequality. It is a crisis of the inequity that sees those who contributed least to the problem hit first and hardest by the devastating effects of climate change; a crisis that sees the majority world, and communities of colour in the global north disproportionately exposed to pollutants; a crisis that sees a global minority ready to sacrifice their neighbours rather than bring about the changes to the global economic system so urgently needed.

The MME Thinktank would like to thank all who took part in our event for reminding us that we are all neighbours, all commoners on the one common, “all human, all equal”.

MME Thinktank

10 December 2021


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