International Day for Human Rights - 2017
The world is commemorating on the 10th December of each year the International Day for Human Rights, the date on which the UN General Assembly has approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. UDHR is the most significant rights’ document that strengthens dignity and non-discrimination concepts, and other related values such as equality, justice and the rule of law. Celebrating the IDHR on the 10th December of each year, reminds us of the importance of respecting human rights, and thus urges us to build a world that promotes and respects human rights.
The sixty-ninth anniversary of IDHR comes while the world is witnessing gross violations and unprecedented threats by violent extremist groups in many countries, in addition to new risks as seen in the growing influence of the populist right, which would consequently adversely affect the human rights situation throughout the world.
The sixty-ninth anniversary coincides with the serious decision made by the US administration to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in flagrant conflict with international legitimacy, as represented by the UN resolutions. Hence, such a decision will lead to more violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR), while praising the measures taken by certain countries in the MENA region to implement human rights and prevent violations, according to their obligations, relevant to the treaties that they have ratified, would like to also remind that the state of human rights in the region still requires more efforts and wider cooperation between all actors in Government institutions, national institutions, NGOs, as well as at universities and research centers.
Within this context, GIHR calls for respecting the rights of human rights defenders’ who are subjected to harassment, campaigns targeting their lives and prosecution in some of the countries in the region.
GIHR is looking forward on this occasion to widen the respect for the values enshrined in the UDHR, which later inspired treaties, protocols and other declarations relevant to human rights. Applying human rights is not a luxury, rather it is the foundation of a democratic society and development in all fields, and it is the path to combat violent extremism forces.
GIHR, hopes that, on this occasion, the Governments and other actors in the human rights field will exert more efforts to raise awareness with the values and rights contained in the UDHR and in the international treaties to enable all people to understand human rights values, where respecting, promoting and protecting of human rights starts the awareness and with the deep understanding and with the will of all stakeholders.