The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) based in Banjul, The Gambia wishes to join its partners in observing Human Rights Day. On 10th December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In 1950, the UNGA further passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10th December of each year as Human Rights Day since then.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Equality: reducing inequalities, advancing human rights” The theme is very apt, relevant and speaks directly to Article 1 of the Universal Declaration which states that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. Considering the numerous inequalities experienced by people globally, the theme is even more relevant today than it was when the UDHR was adopted in 1948.
While many countries recognize human rights, democracy and the rule of law as the basis for resilient and stable societies, many people around the world are still unaware of the existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights enshrined therein. As a result, many human rights abuses go unreported, unchallenged and therefore no redress is sought due to lack of knowledge of the existence of the human rights instruments and treaties.
The fight against discrimination remains a daily task for millions of people globally. The promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms is a collective responsibility and it must always be a top priority for States as primary duty bearers. The role of Non-State Actors in addressing discrimination and inequalities cannot be over-emphasized as they continue to play their complimentary roles in the promotion and protection of human rights. It is therefore important that both State and non-State actors continue to work in partnership to ensure the advancement of human rights through addressing inequality in legal frameworks, policies and programmes.
Stakeholders must therefore take the bold step to address equality, inclusion and non-discrimination which are the backbone for the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Together, we can reduce inequalities to advance human rights.
Happy Human Rights Day!!