Stand up for human rights – today and every day!

Published 8 December 2016 in:

For Sweden, the fight for human rights – both at home and internationally – is a key issue that must permeate all policy areas.
Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world on 10 December every year.
Rarely has the day been as important to celebrate as now.

Many of us are fearful of the direction the world is taking. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be widespread all over the world. Extremist movements are subjecting people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.

Human Rights Day is one of the international days observed by the UN and is celebrated on 10 December every year.

It was instituted in 1950, and the date was chosen to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

“It’s time for each of us to step up for human rights. There is no action that is too small: wherever you are, you can make a difference. Together, let’s take a stand for more humanity,” says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

He is certainly right! Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. On the street, in school, at work, on public transport, in the voting booth, on social media.

The time for this is now. “We the peoples” can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.

Sweden’s commitment to human rights continues with renewed vigour. Next year, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will present reports on human rights, democracy and the rule of law covering countries in all regions of the world.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency has been given a special task of examining the issue of the shrinking space for civil society and what measures can be taken by Sweden to counter this. Its findings are to be presented in early 2017.

On 1 January, Sweden’s two-year membership of the UN Security Council also begins.

And, although we realise it will be difficult, Sweden will clearly drive the issue of a giving human rights a more prominent place in the work of the UN Security Council.

Read more on Human Rights Day on the official site of the United Nations.