In 1948, after the devastating Second World War, which brought painful divisions in Europe and occupation for many European countries, the international community committed to define, promote and protect human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we celebrate on 10 December has enshrined these shared principles and has had a profound influence on the development of the world. But still, almost seventy years on, we are far from the full respect of these commitments all over the world, and we recognize that all states must do more in this respect.
The EU, through its Rule of Law Mission, EULEX has been instrumental in ensuring justice for families in Kosovo through the identification of missing persons. Fatime Krasniqi’s husband Sefer was identified in April 2017 as a result of EULEX efforts. Fatime appealed for other families of the missing to provide DNA samples to EULEX in order to facilitate the process of identification so that the remains of their loved ones can be returned to them. Since 2008, EULEX has conducted 576 field operations in order to identify and re-associate human remains. From these, it has successfully identified 423 individuals.
25 November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, one of the most devastating human rights violations against women and girls around the world. Empowerment of women and girls requires vigorous efforts to bring significant changes in their lives. To this end the European Union and the United Nations have embarked on the Spotlight Initiative, a ray of light in this ongoing fight. On the International Day, the EU institutions are lit up in orange as part of the UNiTE campaign, to symbolize a brighter future without violence.