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No country is perfect, we all have our challenges but what brings the countries of this coalition together is the strong will and the political commitment to do more and to demonstrate that stories about human rights do not have to be always negative and devastating. They can also be positive and encouraging and provide ideas and hope to others. This is the objective of the Initiative that is growing from year to year.
At today's high level event at UNGA, Colombia joined the EU and 14 countries that launched the GHRS Initiative last year. This year's event marks human rights progress on economic, social and cultural rights and identifies those stories that pave the way for more decent living conditions for all. From women's economic empowerment to ensuring healthy lives for all, the stories recognise that access to public health, inclusive education, respectful social security and a safe environment are vital for the dignity and wellbeing of people.
The EU story this year is about the new EU's Work-life Balance package, through which existing rights for working parents and carers are extended so that there's a better distribution of caring responsibilities within families.
Colombia, a new member of the Initiative has presented a story about giving citizenship to 24.000 Venezuelan children born from Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
Other stories concerned women's and children's access to health, enjoying culture in neighbourhood and in everyday life, protecting older persons or empowering women through their insertion in the digital world.
The “Good Human Rights Stories Initiative” (GHRSI) aims at highlighting the positive narrative of progress being made to promote and protect human rights in a number of countries across the globe. As such, it aims to be a source of cross fertilisation of good practices at a national, regional and global level.
The GHRSI was launched in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 in New York with high level political representation from the 14 participating countries from around the world, from the EU with HR/VP Mogherini, as well as HCHR Bachelet, and UN Secretary-General Guterres.
The members assert respect for human rights as a founding value and a central pillar of their internal and external action. They celebrate their individual and collective ownership of human rights and affirm their solid desire to continue improving their own human rights development and supporting through good stories both themselves and others who wish to take a similar path.
The members commit to strive to promote fundamental government priorities, including sustainable development, security, social justice and resilience, gender equality, non-discrimination and inclusiveness, based on the respect for universal human rights and human dignity, good governance, the rule of law, independent democratic institutions and open consultations with civil society, also pursuant to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Founding and new members are invited to share videos with testimonials and more detailed information of good human rights stories on economic, social and cultural rights on: https://goodhumanrightsstories.net.