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UN Human Rights Day

75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its impact on the Commonwealth

Every year on 10 December, the world celebrates Human Rights Day, marking the anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly adopting the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
To mark the day, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has launched a series of blog posts sharing different perspectives on human rights in the Commonwealth and highlighting the 2022 Human Rights Day theme of ‘Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All’.
This post is the introduction to the series. Scroll down to find the full series of articles.

In its preamble, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) highlighted the

“recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Over the past 75 years of the UDHR, the national and international role of Parliamentarians and Parliaments has grown significantly, not only in the breadth and depth of topics that routinely form the legislative programme of a 21st century Parliament, but there has been an increasing focus on international human rights issues. Many examples of this in the Commonwealth include the role of Parliaments in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

The evolving role of Parliamentarians and of Parliaments is to ‘step up’ as key enablers of human rights and to act as a check and balance on the policies of the Executive. This important role of Parliament sitting as it does at the centre of a nation’s domestic and international affairs should not be overlooked or under-estimated.

 

 

The 2022 Human Rights Day theme is ‘Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All’ and the call to action is #StandUp4HumanRights. The commitment to ensuring respect for human rights and equality for all citizens, especially the marginalised and vulnerable who are often the first casualties in any erosion of human rights protections has never been greater.

Here we highlight three different perspectives on human rights in the Commonwealth:

Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All

A UN Human Rights Day blog series

Equality and the rights of persons with disabilities

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities network, Hon. Laura Kanushu, MP writes about equality and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Read more

Safeguarding the rights of detained persons

Madhurima Dhanuka from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative writes about safeguarding the rights of the increasing numbers of people held in detention across the Commonwealth.

Read more

Protecting the rights of marginalised communities

Hartwell Mhunduru from The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) writes about how human rights relate to one another and how important it is for all maginalised communities to unite in the struggle for freedom, dignity and justice.

Read more

From the CPA Archives: The Parliamentarian: Human rights in the modern era

Latest Issue:

The Parliamentarian 2018 Issue Four - Human rights in the modern era:

This special issue of The Parliamentarian focused on human rights in the modern era and celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The Parliamentarian is the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments and is published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

To read this issue, download a copy here or view on our online reading platform, click here->

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