New Internationalist

The Twelve Rights Calendar 36d (1984)

Issue 131

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GLOBAL REPORTING [image, unknown] UNDHR calendar

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The Twelve Rights Calendar 36D (1984)
The months and days renamed to reflect the UN Declaration of Human Rights

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A second look

Editor We were a bit taken aback when you sent us the idea for this calendar. What’s wrong with the present one?

Roger Halsall In fact there is no internationally accepted calendar that’s not tied to one nation or one religion. The month and day names generally celebrate long-forgotten gods and emperors.

Some friends and I thought we could prepare a new calendar based on human rights - because we were concerned about the painfully slow progress towards the securing of even elementary human rights worldwide. So the way we have it is with each month named after a key right from the Declaration, the names are latinised so - they can be more widely understood. The day names link the continents in a constant cycle around Sunday as ‘Peaceday’.

Editor Isn’t trying to change the calendar a bit ambitious?

Roger Halsall You might say it’s impossible and hopelessly idealistic. But changes have been made in the past and they can be made again. And once they have been made, a return to the celebration of Mars, Juno and Julius, Odin, Frig, Tiw and the rest would be unthinkable. Editor How do you work out this year to be 36D?

Roger Halsall It’s based on the signing of the Declaration in 1 948. This can provide a significant starting point for all people and countries. The fact that this was 35 years ago is a constant reminder that half a lifetime has elapsed since the nations signed, and then apparently forgot about, the Declaration and the promis’es made.

Editor Why do you think that the Declaration hasn’t been given that much attention?

Roger Halsall Partly possibly because of its length and style. Our calendar is intended to put over essentially the same message in a shorter form with more impact.

There is a need to dispel the notion that ‘human rights’ are too vague an idea to be realisable. We hope the calendar will make it clear that the Declaration is far more comprehensive and practical than is generally thought. It could be used in schools to reach children who do not share adult’s reluctance to change and help make human rights second nature for future generations.


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