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From 26 February to 23 March 2018 the international community will gather in Geneva at the Human Rights Council (HRC) to discuss the world's most pressing human rights issues. "In a year, where we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EU reaffirms its strong support for the work of the UN human rights system," says Ambassador Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva. "The Declaration is as valid as it was at the time of its adoption and sadly, we are far from the full respect of these commitments all over the world. Rights and freedoms are still being challenged and the space for civil society is shrinking in many countries throughout the world," he adds. Therefore, the EU will give strong priority to promoting and defending the universality of human rights and to raising the profile of human rights throughout the year.
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.