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Human rights activists, youth and local community members marked Human Rights Day in events across Myanmar. EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt joined the celebrations in Yangon's Thakyin Mya Park on 10 December.
"Human Rights Day is a reminder to the world that human rights are always work in progress. All nations have challenges - this is true in Europe, as it is here in Myanmar," said Ambassador Schmidt in an address to the crowd in Yangon. "As human rights defenders, you are the voice of the voice-less, a line of defence for the defence-less." Pointing to the crisis in Rakhine State, the EU Ambassador also stressed that human rights must be applied without discrimination. "The call for equality must be universal; our quest must be for indivisible human rights."
Equality Myanmar, a longstanding partner of the European Union in promoting the protection of human rights in Myanmar, was one of the main organisers of the Human Rights Day events in Yangon. Earlier this year, the European Union in Myanmar had recognised the important work of its director, U Aung Myo Min, with the Schuman Award for his outstanding engagement for human rights and equality in Myanmar. Through a human rights march through downtown Yangon, music performances, magic shows, quizzes and info booths the organisers of the Human Rights Day events in Yangon raised awareness among community members of all ages of the universality of human rights and the need to defend them.