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Indian American invited to address U.N. International Day of Peace

Ohio-based inspirational speaker and labor rights activist, Harold D’Souza, was a featured guest at the United for Human Rights Open House on September 23, 2023, in Columbus. This event coincided with the United Nations International Day of Peace, a significant occasion dedicated to promoting global harmony since its establishment in 1981.

The International Day of Peace (IDP) was first initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981, and two decades later, in 2001, it was unanimously adopted as a time for promoting non-violence and ceasefires worldwide.

During his address, Harold D’Souza emphasized the importance of practicing, promoting, and widely disseminating the United Nations’ 30 articles of human rights, a framework designed to ensure the rights and dignity of all individuals on Earth. He highlighted Article 1, which proclaims that “We are all Born Free and Equal,” Article 4, stating “No Slavery,” Article 17, affirming “The Right to Your Own Things,” and Article 26, which recognizes “The Right to Education.” D’Souza underscored the necessity of teaching these 30 articles to every child, akin to how we teach them the basics of language or arithmetic.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also weighed in, emphasizing the urgent need for peace in the world. He acknowledged the devastating consequences of war, conflict, poverty, hunger, displacement, and climate change, and even in peaceful countries, the widening disparities and political divisions.

Harold D’Souza’s dedication to education, development, meticulous attention to detail, and his commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable populations have earned him widespread recognition as a survivor ambassador across the globe.

Furthermore, 2023 marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. IDP 2023 urged young people to engage ambitiously as positive agents of social change, rallying them to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering lasting peace. Together, these efforts aim to guide our world toward a more environmentally sustainable, equitable, just, and secure future for all.

Harold D’Souza’s life has been a remarkable journey characterized by courage, compassion, and unwavering dedication. Today, he is a Co-Founder of Eyes Open International, a nonprofit organization committed to combating human trafficking and empowering survivors.

Recently, Harold D’Souza received the prestigious Human Rights Hero Award 2023 at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York.

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