December 10th – World Human Rights Day
By Andrea Feinberg
World Human Rights Day was observed on December 10th. Although we like the idea of practicing it daily, this date commemorates the United Nations General Assembly having adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This document proclaims the inalienable rights to which everyone is entitled as a human being, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.
For small business owners and their employees, Human Rights Day can have significant relevance, adding value to the employee experience, reduced absenteeism, enhanced productivity. Small businesses play a pivotal role in upholding human rights within the workplace. They can ensure fair and equal treatment of employees, provide safe working conditions, fair wages, and opportunities for growth regardless of background. Respecting human rights within a business is crucial not only for ethical reasons but also for fostering a positive work culture and attracting and retaining talented employees.
Small business owners can use these principles daily as a reminder to review their policies, ensure they align with human rights values, and actively promote a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace environment. It’s an opportunity to recommit to fair labor practices, equal opportunities, and the well-being of employees which often translates to treatment of partners, vendors and customers, thereby contributing to a more equitable society overall.
Here are a few team activities that you can engage in to reinforce the significance of World Human Rights Day and promote understanding and respect for human rights among employees every day:
- Panel Discussions or Workshops: Host discussions or workshops that explore human rights topics, inviting speakers, experts, or employees to share personal stories or insights related to human rights issues.
- Diversity and Inclusion Training: Conduct training sessions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion to increase awareness and understanding among employees about different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.
- Interactive Case Studies: Present real-life case studies or scenarios related to human rights issues and encourage teams to discuss and propose solutions, fostering critical thinking and empathy.
- Film Screening and Discussion: Screen a documentary or movie centered around human rights themes and follow it up with a facilitated discussion to encourage reflection and dialogue among team members.
- Simulation Games: Engage in activities or games that simulate scenarios where human rights are challenged, allowing participants to experience and understand various perspectives.
- Community Service Projects: Organize volunteer activities or community service projects that support causes related to human rights, encouraging employees to contribute positively to the community.
- Art and Creativity Workshops: Encourage artistic expression through workshops like painting, storytelling, or poetry that focus on human rights themes, allowing employees to express themselves creatively.
These activities can help foster empathy, understanding, and a shared commitment to upholding human rights principles among your employees, promoting a more inclusive and respectful workplace culture. And, of course, advancing the success of your business through a healthy, productive team.