Back in 539 B.C., the city of Babylon was conquered by the armies of Cyrus the Great. Instead of raping and torturing the people, Cyrus freed the slaves. He declared racial equality and freedom of religion in that city. This is known to be the world’s first record of human rights. Throughout the century, there were many occasions where people were oppressed, and some great human rights leaders made a change to the society. Here are the five notable leaders who have made this world a better place to live in.
Chief Joseph (1840–1904)
He was the son of a Nez Perce chief during the United State’s westward expansion. At the time he was born, there were disputes over land treaties. The people were having injustice and were attacked by the American military. When Joseph became chief in 1971, he protected his tribe from this violence. He always spoke against injustices and unconstitutional policies of the U.S. towards his people. He fought for equality and justice all his life.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)
This great leader brought independence to India. He became an inspiration for movements of nonviolence, freedom and civil rights across the world. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly announced the birthday of Gandhi as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Oskar Schindler (1908–1974)
He was an ethnic German and Catholic. He was an industrialist and a member of the Nazi party. During World War II, he rescued more than 1,000 Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.
Nelson Mandela (1918–2013)
He was the leader of the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary movement. It inspired international campaign for his release from prison where he was serving a life sentence. Mandela was released in 1990. After three years, he was awarded the Nobel Peace. In 1994, he came the first black president of South Africa.
Jimmy Carter (1924–)
He was the 39th president of the U.S. and served the office till 1980. In 1982, he and his wife set up The Carter Center in Atlanta which works for human rights and alleviation of human suffering. This organization worked in 37 countries to encourage democracy. It provides advocacy for people having mental illnesses. He received Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his incredible works.
These people will always be remembered for their efforts to improve human lives. They are our source of inspiration for doing good for the society.