Humans are born with the right to choose. But that right has been taken away from them by governments since the beginning of recorded time. Slaves still do the wishes of others in certain parts of the world, and the rest of world keeps their heads turned the other way. Human trafficking is still prominent in different areas of the world, and the rest of the world closes their eyes. People live under the rule of a tyrant, and the rest of the world calls it a way of life because the world would rather talk about it than stop it.
The history of human rights is actually as old as the human race, but the modern definition of human rights began in 539 B.C. when King Cyrus the Great freed the slaves of Babylon. King Cyrus said all people have the right to choose their religion and live with the notion that all races are equal. Once the word spread that slaves were free in Persia, Rome Greece and India did the same thing, but as we know now Cyrus’s edict was not followed by the rest of the world. In fact, human rights violations have increased thanks to countries like North Korea, Afghanistan, parts of Africa and in other countries. One only has to listen to the story of Yeonmi Park to understand how backward some of these countries are when it comes to human rights.
Ms. Yeonmi Park on yeonmi.net is one of the fortunate ones. She escaped from a country where no one is free. No one has rights of any kind. Life is spent working for the state and worshipping the leader. Yeonmi believed what she was taught as a child. She believed the rest of the world was just like North Korea until she saw a black market copy of the movie Titanic. Park realized that her life was not a life. She was a prisoner, and she had to escape. With help from her mother and sister Yeonmi did escape, but she and her mother were brutalized by the traffickers that took them through the Gobi Desert. Yeonmi and her mother crawled across the desert to escape the traffickers, and they finally made it to Mongolia. That’s where they sought asylum at the South Korean embassy.
Yeonmi is now 21 years old but has lived many more years than that. She is dedicated to the human rights cause. She wants the world to give everyone their freedom to choose. She is currently writing a book about her life and how it has changed.
Yeonmi story is just one story of human rights abuses. There are tens of thousands more. Those stories are still be written through the anguish those people suffer every day. It’s time the rest of the world opens their eyes and acts rather than accept the torture that fellow human beings are experiencing. Maybe Park’s story will strike the match that burns down the walls of slavery and abuse. Maybe the world will realize that the lives of millions of people living under different forms of slavery matter.