On International Human Rights Day, the Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties calls on the international community to assume its responsibilities to ensure respect and protection of human rights around the world and urges powerful states to break the conspiracy of silence that amounts to sharing responsibility for human rights violations around the globe.
The world celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. GCRL considers it as an occasion to recall that many countries suffer from grave violations of human rights, as a result of the absence of democratic governments.
“All Human, All Equal” is this year’s slogan for Human Rights Day. The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of Article 1 of the UDHR which states” All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
After 73 years of the declaration, many countries are still suffering from grave violations of the principle of equality in several areas related to basic rights, based on different backgrounds, including ethnicity, gender, religion…In this context, the Geneva Council refers to the Israeli policies that lack justice and equality and amount to racial discrimination against the Palestinians, whether 1948 Palestinians who, despite holding Israeli citizenship, are treated as second- or third-class citizens. Likewise, Palestinians in the occupied territories since 1967 suffer from Israeli racist policies as a result of the settlement policy, home demolitions.
The legislation and laws of many countries in the world still enshrine a policy of discrimination and inequality in dealing with people on the basis of sex, gender, religion, country, and minorities. The International Day for Human Rights comes at a time when many countries in the Middle East suffer from armed conflicts, and non-democratic regimes, and ‘bad’ governance. Most of the regimes whose practices violate human rights principles are protected and supported by powerful and influential countries for common interests that trample upon human rights norms and values.
The Geneva Council affirms that, on this day, the United Nations and its special procedures, and the general international community are urged to assume their responsibilities in respecting and protecting human rights, to take actions based on the law to put an end to violations, and to ensure global justice and equality.