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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Raufman, USA

UN International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust - 27 January: SDG 16

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

AKA: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.The Holocaust was Nazi Germany's deliberate murder of approximately six million European Jews and at least five million prisoners of war.

The Holocaust was facilitated by a culture of hate and an acceptance of violence. Unfortunately, this culture still persists today. Antisemitism — which is a certain perception of, or prejudice against Jews that is often expressed as hatred towards Jews — manifests as religious, ethnic, national, and racial intolerance or prejudice.

It is imperative to conceptualize the fight against antisemitism within a human rights framework. Silence is not the answer.

For those of us who did not experience the devastation of WWII which was 77 years ago, the current scale of pandemic-induced disruption to world economies and our labour market may seem unprecedented. But the Holocaust derailed the careers of millions of citizens around the world by dehumanizing a whole population of people by the Nazi definition of race. More than ever, the importance of careers related to studying history are necessary so that we remember the past and work to create a better tomorrow. By remembering such past extreme situations, we will hopefully learn to respond to refugees fleeing persecution with compassion.

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years and this number has only increased since then. The U.N has responded to each refugee crisis, but each generation must learn their own lessons.

As the United Nations shares on its website: “The diversity of our world's many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.”

Career development professionals can teach the dispossessed to find within themselves the strength to carry on and the treasures they possess within. They can then learn to create career paths that reflect their individual unique personality. Such paths can lead to the development of new skills and jobs with living wages and a way to give back to society. In so doing, we can empower people to rebuild their lives and to become productive members of their new communities.

Tolerance-driven careers include: Communications specialist, a diplomat, positions in governmental agencies or in the non-profit sector, policy officer, legal advocate, project manager, conflict resolution expert, trauma specialist, human resources, professor, psychologist, researcher, human rights officer, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, International Relations, United Nations Development Program • Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Specialist, Conflict Transformation Adviser, Faith-based Community Organizers.

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goal # 16, Promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provides access to justice for all and builds effective, accountable and inclusive societies. Conflict, insecurity, weak institutions and limited access to justice remain a great threat to the possibilities that should be available to all people.


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