Today 15. September is international democracy day,which was started by the UN in 2007. The purpose of this day is to promote and uphold the principles of democracy, which include freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, inclusiveness, equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life, minority rights and much more.
Why is this day important? Democracy is extremely valuable today and something still many people don't have. Some people might take democracy for granted but all over the world, it's an everyday fight to get some of the human rights that comes with democracy. Just the right to say whatever you want might be totally accepted one place but can give you life imprisonment one place. Loving a person of the same gender could get you killed one place but be just normal another place. Many countries are steadily improving which gives hope. However, in some places the situation is getting worse. Which is why this day is extremely important.
The leading democratic countries are Norway, Iceland and Sweden. On the opposite side of the scale is North Korea, Kongo and Central African Republic. There is little similarity between the two ends of this scale and this day is used to promote the awareness of this gap, the countries between and how to improve the situation in many countries. It is important to discuss and talk about the issues many are facing with the lack of democracy.
This year the international democracy day is especially important as the world is facing covid-19. Because of the pandemic people around the world have to live differently and change habits. Some countries have introduced lockdown, others social distancing measures, mask wearing, restrictions on gatherings and many other ways of containing and fighting the virus. However, some countries have used the pandemic as a way of avoiding democracy and using the pandemic as an excuse to do things unethically.
This day is also a day that celebrates the brave and courageous people fighting for democracy. People all over the world have been demonstrating their desire and right for democracy. When fighting for democracy, people risk their life and risk going to jail for their opinions. This is something we have seen more and more in Hong Kong. In the recent time the situation has gotten worse and important figures for the democracy movement have been arrested. This shows how the democracy that was promised to Hong Kongers is under extreme threat.
This day should be used to educate the world about the benefits of democracy and all the good that comes with it. It should be a day used to discuss the progress of democracy and how to improve the living of people that don't live in a democracy.
We hope you have a good day! We have linked some good reads about international democracy day in the bottom!
The democracy index - https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index
EU - https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_1643
independent - https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/democracy-hong-kong-china-europe-united-nations-g7-b435652.html
unesco - http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-day-of-democracy/
Picture : Manson Yim