Image courtesy of the United Nations

Last month, International Human Rights Day was highlighted and celebrated in New York, with the declaration that every single human has the right to basic human rights including the right to life and liberty, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and much more.

The conference was given by the International Human Rights Commission-Relief Fund Trust-African, Asian & Caribbean Missions to the United Nations and held at the UN Headquarters on International Human Rights Day on December 10th, 2019, celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. International Human Rights Commission Secretary General & Ambassador at Large, H.E Ambassador Malik Nadeem Abid, and IHRC Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, High Representative to the United Nations & Africa Regions, H.E Foday Mansaray, spearheaded the event along with other dignitaries and human rights defenders. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created on December 10, 1948 and since that time, leaders and activists from all walks of life and professional backgrounds have sought to advance human rights and privileges globally. There has been ongoing, concerted citizen action from a number of countries, cities and villages, fighting and speaking against oppression whenever an opportunity presents itself to do so. In addition, there were representatives in attendance from the Universal Peace Federation.

The universal message of the event focused on the necessity and demand for equal rights for all… women, men and children and how everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination. International and domestic ambassadors and leaders discussed the importance and impact of social economics, social media and how the youth should be exposed to crucial issues going on across the world. “The youth are the future. The importance of human rights education goes back to our homes, communities, offices and countries…we should encourage leaders to be sensitive and educate,” H.E Ambassador Suliman, UN Rep from Sierra Leone.

In addition, speakers discussed the importance of access to stem education for the youth and advancing that initiative by working with global leaders and citizens around the world. Speakers also highlighted how important and effective it is to work with the youth “like the plane to the wind” and really listen to them.

Dr. Daniel Chidubem Gbujie, newly inducted Ambassador of Peace spoke about embodying the attributes of peace. “I am humbled, that some of my daily attributes fit into the qualities seen in an Ambassador of Peace which includes ideal living, dedication to the practices and promotion of ethical values, family life, religious harmony and establishment of a culture of peace. As an Ambassador of Peace, I now know that I must contribute along with other like minds to the fulfillment of the hope of all generations, with a harmony between the spiritual and earthly. I can only pray that these attributes are sincerely sustained.”

Speakers also made it a point to congratulate conference attendees on “being human” and recognizing the importance of equal human rights for all, including women. “Women should be in leadership positions, the same as men, and need to be globally empowered to make decisions because when women are in power, things are done right.” Women activists also acknowledged how women should be protected under one international law that is equal for everyone because in every country globally, women aren’t protected and many are forced to come to the United States to seek a better life. In addition, men spoke out about men overall playing a major part in societal issues and being blockers, having access to societies and shutting women out from having the same access. “As men we have to confront other men….at home, in the classrooms and in the board rooms.”

Many believe that governments are becoming extremists even as the world is changing rapidly and how critical human rights issues are globally. “There is a significant cost of not including people of different races and backgrounds who possess an array of talent that is evenly distributed among different races, women, etc. This definition of diversity and inclusion allows ALL people to advance to their full capacities. There are core fundamental issues with a variety of policies and we have to work with government and corporations on a local and global level, using skill set to enhance conflict resolution.”

The youngest human rights activist at the event, eight-year-old child rights activist Fatiha Ayat spoke from the powerful perspective of a child who sees the youth being impacted by human rights issues. “I’m considered a privileged child in this society but I know there are a million other children in the world whose human rights are being severely compromised. The world leaders of today are ignoring issues of child labor as children are being forced to work under hazardous conditions. There is a written universal declaration of human rights for children; however, this is only paperwork as child abuse, child marriages and child trafficking have not been stopped. Millions of children aren’t safe and don’t have access to education and necessities such as health aide, shelter and food. This is happening in different parts of the world, territories and countries such as Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Yemen and all over the world.  In addition, children are really affected by the current climate issues and war all around them.” Fatiha urged world leaders to make sure that every child has their human rights.

“She, and others like her, are on the pulse of change and represent the foundation of future generations,” H.E Ambassador Malik Nadeem Abid.

Community activists from Toronto, Canada were also in attendance to discuss major ongoing issues with the government in Nigeria. New Jersey resident, Omoyele Sowore, a Bergen County journalist and human rights activist, had been imprisoned in his native country since August 2019, accused of a variety of charges, including treason. Since his arrest, Sowore has been demanding freedom of speech and basic things. In late December 2019, Sowore was released from a Nigerian prison on bail. His family, believing that Sowore was illegally abducted, is still working to have all charges against Sowore dropped and ensure that he returns home safely.

“Mankind is losing the essence of being human…rouge leaders are running the world. Human rights for different people is an important integral part of displaying diverse platforms and opinions as we should always express the better version of ourselves and pull people up, encourage each other, our children and the world will be a better place for it. These are part of the sustainable goals for the future.”

In the spirit of positive synergy and hope for the future, spoken word was given about making a deposit of collective, united energy around the world.

“Children have good schools now around the world because of the International Human Rights Commission. Great humanitarian work helps to empower other humanitarians,” H.E Ambassador Foday Mansaray.  

In conjunction with International Human Rights Day, THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION-RFT  (IHRC-RFT ) ANNOUNCED ITS TOP 100 RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS 2019 ALMANAC LIST- 2019, which included Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Noble Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai and teen Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg in addition to other domestic and international activists and leaders.

To make a local impact starting in our own communities, H.E Ambassador Malik Nadeem Abid urged attendees to “engage your members of Congress, get 20-30 signatures and your Congress member will come to your house….be apart of the solution, be committed, question the questioners to bring about a new day…the worst human rights violation is silencing the voice.”

“We will use our various resources, have journalists in 42 countries worldwide and implement performance tracking capabilities to keep tabs on consistent violators of human rights,” H.E Ambassador Foday Mansaray.

“At the same time, we will continue spreading the message of love, peace and prosperity.”

#standupforhumanrights #Standup4humanrights #HumanRightsDay


  • Madinah N. James

    International Media Connoisseur: Writer, Correspondent, TV/Film Producer, Author, Event Coordinator and Non-Profit Organization Strategist

    Madinah N. James is a professional “media connoisseur” with an extensive background in television, media and public relations. Madinah has produced at networks such as CNN and MSNBC and has written for various publications. Madinah started her career in television as a production assistant for “Good Day New York” on WNYW-FOX-5. After building an impressive resume from networks such as FX Cable, Turner Broadcasting and Court TV, she started working as a production coordinator on the CNN Financial News show, “Moneyline with Lou Dobbs”. During this time, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred so it was an extremely busy and eventful time in the news industry. Madinah coordinated with field reporters and producers to obtain footage in line with proper video content and story idea synchrony as well as aligned with affiliates and international bureaus to create newsworthy stories. Ultimately, Madinah obtained a position segment producing at MSNBC during the Iraq war, researching and writing newsworthy segments and producing quality video for air. Being an actual part of news history during these events fueled the fire in Madinah to want to report on a variety of groundbreaking, global news stories. “I have loved television and media since I was a young child. I've always had a photographic memory of various entertainers, television shows, movies, historical events, etc. Always a creative person, English was my favorite subject in school and I love writing and expressing myself." It just seems like a natural progression that I have forged a career in media.” After taking a break from the news world, Madinah cultivated her creativity in other projects through media consulting, event coordinating and booking celebrities and notable real estate speakers on a national and international level, for various organizations, including The Learning Annex. Currently, Madinah has a media consulting company, MNJ Consulting Corporation, a company that provides an array of creative consulting services based around her extensive, diverse professional media background. Madinah has also embarked upon a new, unexpected chapter in her life journey. She has learned how to use her creativity and communications background to strike a balance between various aspects of her personal and professional life. On a personal note, Madinah’s father had a massive stroke in March 2011, igniting a passion for health and wellness that runs deep. She started a non-profit organization, The Robert Hill Foundation, in his name, (, to be a platform for stroke advocacy, prevention and create global initiatives to promote overall health and wellness. Madinah is also currently an ambassador and spokesperson for The American Heart Association, The American Stroke Association, The Power To End Stroke campaign and The You're The Cure movement. By having a background in media, Madinah understands the importance of using media as a tool and a platform to get vital messages out to the public and impact the masses.