Human Rights & Democracy

After 70 years - Human Rights more important than ever

10/12/2018 - 13:16
News stories

Seventy years after the Universal Declaration on Human Rights was written, the European Union continues working to turn each and every word from that Declaration into practice. This is a collective effort of governments and the society as a whole.

human rights

As stated in the Declaration by the High Representative Federica Mogherini on behalf of the EU on the occasion of Human Rights Day, "the Universal Declaration has proven to be the cornerstone of international human rights law on which many countries have built a strong and resilient human rights architecture. Today, the number of people living in good human rights conditions is higher than ever in the history of mankind".

Still, in many parts of the world conflicts and confrontations seem to prevail. Where democracy keeps to be undermined, where attacks on minorities and human right defenders are still the order of the day and where space for civil society actors continues to be curtailed – constantly reminding us that human rights can never be taken for granted. 

At the same time, this anniversary is a moment to look closer at the real impact of human rights and all tireless work to respect, fulfil, promote and protect these rights and freedoms.

human rights

On this occasion the EU has decided to reconnect with what human rights represent for people and societies by launching the Good Human Rights Stories’ Initiative. Its aim is to bring together countries around a commitment to take positive steps to address human rights challenges, domestically and internationally.

This milestone celebration represents a golden opportunity to also tell the stories of ordinary heroes, the stories of human rights defenders from around the world who have courage and determination to be the voice of the voiceless. Support for their work is at the core of the EU's external human rights policy and one of its major priorities.

Through this celebration the EU is showing its continued commitment to the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of human rights and democratic values. We will continue to work to forge societies, in the EU and globally, in which participation, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, transparency and accountability, solidarity and equality prevail.


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