DAY 12

Credit: Meredith Stern

“Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”

Today, on August 27, we spotlight Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As the country and the world mourn the passing of Senator John McCain, we can notice a connection between the work of the late Senator and the emphasis of this Article. First, McCain had a strong concern for justice in the international order. While he took stances in favor of military actions that were at times at odds with some or many in the human rights community, he was consistently motivated by the rights of civilians suffering under despots.

While McCain urged strong and military actions against international terrorists, he famously was the strongest and most compelling American voice against any use of torture (fyi, see our post about torture from August 20). He did so not not only because he thought it was simply, plainly wrong—a violation of basic human rights—but also because any use of torture by the U.S. would undermine the international order that actually makes the world safe.

McCain’s other famous work was for campaign finance reform and civility in American politics. McCain’s attempts to take unregulated, secret money out of electoral politics was an improvement of the social order, so that politics would be more accountable to the rights and freedoms of all citizens.

Unfortunately, effective action for both the international order and for the political-civic culture is rarely what it should be. McCain’s best works remain to be completed by us. That’s one reason you should come #StandUp4HumanRightsCT on September 8th!

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