Human Rights breakfast

12/12/08 Seán Kinane
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This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Friday, December 12 was the 35th annual Human Rights Awards breakfast in west Tampa.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes thirty articles that apply to all people, wherever they live. It includes the rights to life, liberty, security, and free choice of employment. But those rights are under attack in many places around the world, including the United States, said speaker William Felice, a professor of political science at Eckerd College. Felice said the Universal Declaration was based on three pillars of the global legal system.

Felice said he had hopes that President-elect Obama would restore some of these fundamentals of international law. During the Bush Administration, however, abuse of prisoners overseas has threatened human rights.

The awards ceremony was presented by the Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council. Awards were presented to Tampa schoolteacher David Sinclair, Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Pat Frank, Hillsborough NAACP secretary Pat Spencer, and the youngest recipient, Taurean Wong, who has bounced back from a childhood full of problems.

More than 300 people attended the breakfast. WMNF spoke with some of them to find out why they think human rights are important in the 21st century.

You can hear the entire speech by professor William Felice or read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by following the links below.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

listen to the full speech by William Felice

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Community Tampa Bay

Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council

additional WMNF coverage of 2008 Human Rights award recipients

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