10th December is celebrated all over the world as the International Human Rights Day. It marks the anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 948 and was first celebrated 60 years ago. The Day was established as a recognition of the work of human rights defenders worldwide. This year’s focus is the fight against discrimination.
The United Nations Universal Human Rights Declaration, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are all based on the principles of universality and non-discrimination. This means that the human rights established should be enjoyed by all people, all over the world, and at all times. Furthermore, the human rights ensures protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Despite of these provision, human rights violations occur. In India, members of the Dalit group or lower casts have suffered and continue to suffer from substantial discrimination and Women experience constant mistreatment because of their gender. The Parliamentarian Forum on Human Rights stresses the importance of the continued work for respect, promotion and fulfilment of the international human rights. It is PFHR’s belief that members of Parliament should hold an important role in this work.
10th of December is also the day of the annual Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. This year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Mr. Liu Xiaobo, for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. Mr. Liu is currently imprisoned under the charges of undermining the Chinese state. Mr. Liu has constantly denied the charges and argues that “opposition is not the same as undermining”. The PFHR congratulates this years Nobel Peace Prize winner, and condemns the imprisonment and house arrest of both Mr. Liu and his family. China’s reaction to the peace prize proves that there is still great need of fighting for the universal enjoyment of human rights and mark the International Human Rights Day. This year’s Peace Prize also put emphasis on human rights fundamental role in attaining world peace.
To read more about the International Human Rights Day and see short interviews with human rights defenders from all over the world, see: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2010/
To read more about the Nobel Peace Prize: http://nobelpeaceprize.org/
To read the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s reasoning, see: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2010/press.html
To read Amnesty International’s support to Mr. Liu, see: http://blogg.amnesty.no/2010/12/07/liu-xiaobo%E2%80%99s-empty-chair-holds-more-than-the-chinese-realise/