Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 27th International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

January 27th is a United Nations day of observance for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

On the United Nations website it states:

The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2016, including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, is “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”. The theme links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Holocaust, which resulted in the destruction of nearly two thirds of European Jewry, remains one of the most painful reminders of the international community’s failure to protect them.

This United Nations websites also has links to a variety of resources including downloadable educational material like Why teach about the Holocaust? It discusses the effect not only on the Jewish victims and survivors but also all the other peoples who suffered under the Nazi polices like the Roma, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses. It provides details of how this terrible period has influenced the formation of the UN, UNESCO objectives, International Laws and Human Rights agreements. It has prompted continued reflection on the importance of issues based around the social construct of race and religious, ethnic and human rights, asylum seeking and government policy versus popular opinion and the importance of individual, state and society responsibility to protect human rights. These matters are still very relevant today where we continue to have instability generated by  warfare, natural disaster and economic activity and human action and ideologies that violate basic human rights.

You can read the UN Secretary-General's message for 2016.

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