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By Saundretta James

 Observance Day

January 27, 2022 is the United Nations’, “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.” Starting on January 20, 2022, there will be events held throughout the week in honor of these victims. The United Nations chose this year’s theme to be, “Memory, Dignity, Justice.” For remembrance week, “Holocaust commemoration and education is a global imperative in the third decade of the 21st century.” (1) The theme of “Memory, Dignity, Justice,” serves to remind humanity that in remembering what happened we allow victims to keep their worth and honor. By reminding the world of the true facts; we allow victims true justice and a time to grieve what was. 

Safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, challenging the distortion of history often expressed in contemporary antisemitism, are critical aspects of claiming justice after atrocity crimes.(2)

Throughout the week from January 20th-January 27th events will be held to uphold the theme of “Memory, Dignity, Justice.” By continuing to tell the story of injustice we allow humanity to reflect on what can happen when we treat one another unequally. Please visit the resources below to learn more about how you can commemorate the victims this upcoming week. Please see the call to actions below to learn how to continue to fight for justice for victims of the Holocaust. 

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goal 16-Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions seeks to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” (3) In commemorating the victims of the Holocaust; the United Nations does what this goal encourages. It is vital to protect human rights. The rights of the victims of the Holocaust were undeniably violated when they were treated inhumanely during the Holocaust. Genocide must end. 

It is important to ensure that all humans have a place in our growing and thriving societies. It is also, imperative to provide healthy education, spaces without discrimination, places where people are able to peacfully worship, as well as spaces free of hateful speech toward groups of people who vary due to culture or physical appearance. 

There are several “Call to Action,” items below. These will help assist with this week’s Holocaust Rememberance Day. However, it is important to further educate, advocate, and speak out for a better understanding of how to treat one another with respect and dignity, which each human being deserves. 

RESOURCES

  1. Anti-Defamation League-Midwest: Assists with help if you are experiencing hate crime/speech and need assistance. 
  2. Calendar of Events: https://www.un.org/en/outreach-programme-holocaust/page/2022
  3. International Holocaust Rembrance Day
  4. Sustainable Development Goals
  5. SDG 16: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal16

CALL TO ACTION

  1. Review UN Strategy and Plan on Hate Speech
  2. Visit a Holocaust Museum and learn more about the history.
  3. Attend the UN events this week to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. 
  4. Echoes and Reflections’ Is a program that trains teachers on how to teach the Holocaust: https://echoesandreflections.org/ seek this program for your educators.

REFERENCES

1-2:  https://www.un.org/en/outreach-programme-holocaust/page/2022

3:  https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal16

 

Saundretta James

Director of Advocacy, UNA Chicago

 

Author Aaron Webber

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