The Driving Force Behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?
In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.
Yet they are the world of the individual person;
the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.
Such are the places
where every man woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.
Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.
Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
HUMAN RIGHTS PIONEERS
Eleanor Roosevelt served as chair of the Human Rights Committee and it was her leadership that was the major factor ensuring the passage of the declaration. Historians agree that without her, the declaration would probably never have passed. Eleanor Roosevelt's leadership brought the 18 other members of the Commission together to cooperate effectively despite political differences, cultural barriers and personal rivalries.
We recognize Eleanor Roosevelt and her colleagues for their contribution in ensuring the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the "Magna Carta" of our times.