On this day, 70 years ago, the Member States of the United Nations came together to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This step brought the world together after the greatest tragedy in human history. We have come a long way since then.
Today we stand united in our determination to protect and to promote the rights of all children everywhere. These rights are universal, indivisible and inalienable. Every single child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment – free from any form of violence, abuse, harassment or neglect. It is our collective task to do everything we can to ensure that these rights are respected and ensured for every child, everywhere.
Democracy cannot live without free, diverse and independent media. Journalists and media actors across the globe hold states, government officials, corporations and society at large accountable for their actions. But far too many among them face threats and attacks simply for carrying out their work, while the perpetrators of these attacks often act with total impunity.
On the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) reiterate their strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. The death penalty is an affront to human dignity. It constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and is contrary to the right to life. The death penalty has no established deterrent effect and it makes judicial errors irreversible.
On the International Day for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the contributions of indigenous peoples to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures and indeed to our common heritage. It is also a day where we take stock of the many achievements in the recognition and realisation of their rights and identify the actions that the world community still needs to take, so that human rights are universally applied without any discrimination.
On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice the European Union reaffirms its commitment to the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes and violations of international humanitarian law.
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reaffirms once again its strongest commitment to prevent, condemn and eradicate all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, it continues to be practiced around the world either in isolated cases or systematically, through different forms. Torture can target everyone – men, women, and children. Torture is an inexcusable crime for which each perpetrator has to be prosecuted and brought in front of justice.