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standing up for human rights

A briefing was held at the UN New York in observance of Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted on December 10, 1948. Fran Butensky, ICJW Representative, reports.

In addition to the usual panel format, the Stand Up For Human Rights event featured stations where you could record yourself reciting passages in the language of your choice from the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

There was video message from the High Commissioner For Human Rights who stated that
human rights are an inalienable part of every human being and today many are under
threat and we need to build a better world for us all.

Presentations by a three Member panel:
Ms. Martina Donlon currently works as Information Officer for Human Rights in
Department of Public Information (DPI) at the UN in New York.
• The declaration was a landmark document on human rights and is still important
• Everyone needs to stand up for human rights and speak out when we see those
rights being violated.
• Reach out to people who don’t know about this document.
• Everyone take the pledge to stand up for someone’s rights -

Ms. Hui Lu joined the Office of the High Commissioner For Human Rights in2001. She has
worked on various mandates including indigenous and minority rights, human rights and
development both in Geneva and New York.
• Human Rights are very complex but civil society must participate.
• NGOs have the opportunity to give their input and provide information dealing with
children, people with disabilities, migrants, women, indigenous people and the
LGBTQ community.
• The Human Rights Council can look into countries in violation of human rights,
making country visits and reports, i.e. Yemen and Rohingya refugee situation.

Mr. Renzo Pomi is a human rights lawyer and Amnesty International Representative at the
• At its inception, several members refused to confirm the declaration but more and
more it became universal and recognized for its importance.
• At first, it didn’t contain the mechanism for enforcement but has now become the
universal standard for everyone’s rights.
• There is a non-official form of protection for human rights defenders although no
formal mechanism exists in the declaration.
• Thousands of defenders and organization workers have been threatened and killed.
• Amnesty International is at the forefront of defense of defenders.
Although he doesn’t see any challenges to the universality of the declaration, Mr. Pomi
stated that there are still many challenges to human rights.