Wednesday, 10 December 2008

10 December 2008 – International Human Rights Day

Future Worlds Center joins with other Human Rights activists to celebrate of the International Human Rights Day.

This year's International Human Rights Day is of special significance as it marks the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which represented the first step in establishing a comprehensive international framework for the protection of human rights. Today the Universal Declaration is one of the fundamental texts establishing respect for human rights as a guiding principle in international relations. The year 2008 also witnesses the 15th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action proclaimed by the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights as well as the 10th anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The UN
This theme for 2008, “Dignity and justice for all of us,” reinforces the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a commitment to universal dignity and justice. It is not a luxury or a wish-list. The UDHR and its core values, inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality, apply to everyone, everywhere and always. The Declaration is universal, enduring and vibrant, and it concerns us all.
Since its adoption in 1948, the Declaration has been and continues to be a source of inspiration for national and international efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The EU
Human rights lie at the heart of the EU’s external relations and development policy, as it is underlined by the engagement of the EU in a worldwide campaign against the death penalty, by the key role played by the EU in the fight against torture as well as by the promotion of universality of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Within the framework of the EU’s human rights policy in third countries, the Commission is committed to advancing the situation of human rights worldwide through various tools, such as participation in EU human rights dialogues and consultations as well as in political dialogues with the authorities of third countries at different levels. Moreover, Commission Delegations regularly report on the human rights situation in third countries. Finally, through the European Instrument on Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR, the Commission funds NGOs worldwide working to promote human rights, in areas such as the fight against the death penalty, torture, the support to human rights defenders and to grassroots organisations.

According to the Amnesty International Report 2008, foreign nationals, including migrants and asylum-seekers, were held in detention for unacceptably long periods and in poor conditions without access to a judicial or other independent review. Some reported being beaten by police upon arrest or by guards once detained. Asylum-seekers reported a number of irregularities in the asylum procedure that could have jeopardized their applications or their families at home. An organization supporting and advising migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers was the target of a racist attack and its chairperson charged in connection with its fundraising activities.

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