18 Oct
  • By James Evans

The Global Dignity Movement

Global dignity day, the 18th of October is a day which was created to celebrate and make people aware that each citizen living on this earth has rights and deserves respect. Dignity means the state or quality of being worthy of honour respect and rights.

The day is the creation of 3 people who met as Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum, Professor Peekka Himanen from Finland, Founder of Operation Hope, John Hope Bryant from the United States, and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. Since 2008 the day has been held globally.

The Global Dignity movement has created 5 principles of dignity which it has developed from its core beliefs.

  1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.
  2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfil one’s potential, which is based on having a human level of health care, education, income and security.
  3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and to be met with respect for this right.
  4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.
  5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.


One of the group’s core initiatives is to get speakers into school’s to talk to young people about dignity and identity, both their own and that of others. The group aims to help young people, who are, after all the future of our species, learn about dignity and make the concept of dignity more tangible and understandable with the aim that the students will use principles of dignity in their own lives and future careers/positions so that everyone in society benefits.

The interesting thing about dignity is that ultimately it is interdependent with the dignity of others and only by facilitating other people’s dignity can one fully have it themselves. It is a concept that tries to instil worth in young people and empower them to realise what is truly important to them in life.

Dignity is something that every single human deserves and should get, regardless of race, religion, gender or social background.  There are millions, if not billions, of people who do not receive dignity every single day. People stuck in poverty, in oppression and in wars and conflicts. I truly believe that the world has the capability, financially and technically to bring everyone out of these horrible situations and secure dignified lives for all. What is needed to accomplish this is a hug shift in attitude and collective responsibility. That is why this day is targeting young people, to attempt to make them conscious of dignity and the plight of other people internationally at a young age.

This Global Dignity Day it is our responsibility aa human citizens to show respect and care towards everyone in our lives. This day highlights the fact that despite the range of views, beliefs, cultures and creeds, we are all human. If everyone took an active role in trying to maintain other people’s dignities, the world would be a far far better place and days like this help to remind us of our responsibility as citizens and inhabitants of this planet.