Human Rights Day

Time for Reflection on Human Rights Day

Thursday, December 10, was Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Two years later, 10 December was marked as Human Rights Day.

This year, the UN is devoting Human Rights Day to the launch of its year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights — the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

Morten Kjaerum2Speaking from Helsinki, where he is participating in a Council of Europe conference on how National Human Rights Institutions, Equality bodies and ombudsman offices can promote equality and social inclusion, RWI’s director Morten Kjaerum says:

“While more people can enjoy their human rights today than when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, much more needs to be done.

“Yes, major gains have been made, for example, in promoting democracy, improving gender equality, and reducing poverty, but on this Human Rights Day 2015, we should all take some time to reflect on the successes and also the failures.”

“Today, we are dealing with the worst refugee crisis globally since the end of WWII, and in too many countries human rights have deteriorated, rule of law is under threat, discrimination persists, and economic inequality has increased. These challenges make it crystal clear  that we  need to re-devote ourselves to promoting universal respect for human rights now  and for the future.”

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