‘Dignity & Justice for All” – 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
9 December 2008 11:27 am
Today marks the landmark of human rights history when the first encoded basic principles of human rights and fundamental freedom was adopted by 58 countries in 1948 in Paris, France.
FORUM-ASIA joins the United Nations supporters and the rest of the world to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) today and supports the theme "Dignity and Justice for All of Us".
While welcoming numerous fundamental shifts in the advancement and realization of human rights today, FORUM-ASIA is concerned that the declaration does not prevent the violation to the right to life and right to physical and psychological integrity such as extrajudicial killings, use of lethal or excessive force, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including rape and sexual violence.
At the same time, the culture of impunity persists in Asian countries.
Of paramount concern is the State's failure to respect the freedom of religion and belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly. Human rights defenders and organizations continue to be criminalized and become the target of murder, arrest, and detention.
They often face defamation charges due to their work to protect the rights of the people.
Furthermore, some human rights defenders face involuntary disappearance.
FORUM-ASIA believes that enforced disappearance challenges the very concept of human rights – the denial of the right of a person to exist and to have an identity.
On the occasion of the 60th UDHR anniversary, we reinstate our confidence and solidarity with victims and survivors of human rights abuses and believe that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and strengthen our commitment to end impunity.
On this international human rights day, FORUM-ASIA calls upon Asian governments to:
* Respect fundamental freedom and human rights that are enshrined in the UDHR;
* Fulfil their pledge to the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We would also like to share with you the solidarity messages of our members and partners across Asia:
LICADHO (Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights)
PAHRA (The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates)
Imparsial (The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor)
Note: This page will be updated as more solidarity messages pour in.