ODVV’s Statement on the Occasion of Universal...
This year’s slogan for the Universal Human Rights Day is “Stand Up for Equality, Justice and Human Dignity”. Each of these terms alone include the basic human concepts and standing up for them means standing up for Mankind. The UN deems standing up in this position meaning the protection, promotion and defense of Mankind regardless of ethnicity, race and religion, and invites the international community, governments, nations and organizations to put the following six principles at the top of the list of their activities:
• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
• Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
• Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
• Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
• Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
• We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.
But how much is today’s world truly standing up for human rights? Over these years many countries have been involved with war and internal conflicts and these endless wars have created numerous crises such as the refugee crisis and the spread of terrorism.
Sadly double standards in the behaviour of some countries that claim to human rights, and the overpowering of political approach over the real human rights values, have undermined the status of human values and human rights. Perhaps today more than ever before we must remind ourselves of valuable human rights principles such as universality, objectivity and indivisibility.
Furthermore, according to UN and its specialised organizations such as UNICEF, Yemen is on the brink of the biggest human catastrophe in the contemporary world. Life threatening hunger in Yemen is an alarm bell that reaches our ears by the mass media every day.
In Myanmar, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by government forces against the Muslim minorities have undermined all human values, and according to the UN Human Rights Council and independent human rights organizations, human rights violations are systematically taking place in Myanmar.
While the oldest human rights crisis of the world continues in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, and the biggest prison in the world in the Gaza Strip continues on, all international efforts and UN resolutions of the past decades in an effort to return peace and stability to the Middle with the support of various US Administrations have ground to a halt. The new government in the United States which has placed Islamophobia and violation of minorities’ rights on top of its agenda, in a new move – through violating international resolutions – announced the move of its embassy to Jerusalem, to continue the violation of the rights of Palestinians, and permanently take away their right to self-determination and their right to have their own independent government.
In a world where international law and fundamental rights of people are clearly violated by the tools of power, the only path for peacekeepers and human rights defenders is persistence on human rights principles and values. The ODVV believes that standing up for human rights, is the only glimmer of hope in all problems of today’s world for the protection of humanity and human values and ultimately can open the door for development and peace.