TGR | 11 November 2013 |
Human rights violations occur everywhere. Right now, there are horrific mass atrocities being committed in Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, and DR Congo. There are at least 65 million people who have been forced from their homes due to conflict and violence. Nearly 30 million children are suffering from displacement, malnutrition, lack of education, and struggling to overcome the emotional effects of war.
It is too easy to say that the persons experiencing such atrocities are a world away, or to change the channel, or close your eyes to the images of human suffering. Many take the position that there is enough to deal with in their own country and they don’t want to get involved. But change occurs when humanity comes together and raises its voices against cruelties and injustices and stands determined to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
Change happens when humanity starts making the world a witness to atrocity crimes, to displacement, and to injustice everywhere – rather than turn a deaf ear or blind eye.
You are reading this now and you may be thinking, but I’m just one person in a small town with no connections. How can I make a difference? What impact can I have? The fact is that anyone can make a difference … anyone, anywhere at any time. Yes… even you!
Use Your Voice in Social Media
Share your thoughts, voice your concerns, and ask questions across your social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. It is okay to express your fears and frustrations, but make sure that you are respectful of others’ views and feelings. Don’t have a social media account? Maybe now is the time to start a Facebook page or open a Twitter account.
Show Compassion to Others
Compassion for each other is something humanity could use a little bit more of, but compassion for those who are the victims of mass atrocities, conflict, and violence – through no fault of their own – is something we should practice. Make the conscious decision to be compassionate towards the victims and look for ways to encourage others to do the same. Many refugees from war-torn countries or from countries where they have been persecuted have overcome tremendous adversity and they need to be shown some humanity and care.
Educate Yourself about the Situation
Truly, in light of modern technology, there is no reason for anyone to not know what is happening in Syria, Yemen, or Myanmar. Use the internet to learn more about the facts of state terrorism in Syria, crimes against women and girls in Afghanistan, rights violations in Saudi Arabia, and rape as a weapon in DR Congo. Educate yourself about the global epidemic of human trafficking, the refugee and migrant crisis, or any other human rights-related topic.
It is tough seeing the same horrific stories day in and day out but imagine that if that was your child or your parent or your sibling experiencing such injustices. Be encouraged and know that even one voice makes a difference. Stay committed and focus on what is important… promoting peace, showing compassion, and helping humanity.
Get to Know a Survivor
It is important that we honor those who have suffered and survived. Look for opportunities to get to know the refugee and migrant populations in your area. Refugees are not scary. They are people who have traveled a long way to have a chance at a life that does not include conflict and violence. By showing them kindness and friendship, you will develop a relationship of trust and respect.
Volunteer and be active in groups that promote human rights awareness. You don’t have to march down the street or on the Capitol. You can make a difference right where you are.
We love volunteers at The Genocide Report! Learn more about volunteer opportunities and join us in Making the World a Witness.
Photo Credit: Rohingya children playing in a child-friendly camp sponsored by UKAID in Batkuhali camp in Bangladesh. Licensed under CC 2.0 license