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Statement by President Higgins marking Human Rights Day

Date: Tue 10th Dec, 2019 | 13:02

“Today, on the UN designated Human Rights Day, we are called upon to highlight the centrality of human rights in all efforts to build a better world for all.

This year, Human Rights Day falls not only during the important United Nations climate change conference, reminding us of the vital importance of urgent action to limit irreversible changes to our planet’s climate, but also on the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international agreement which has played a crucial role in the improvement of the lives of children around the world.

In a context where the voices of those who deny the universality of human rights and those who don’t hesitate to seek to exploit fear and vulnerability in order to deny the rights of minorities in society are growing stronger, our explicit support for the internationally agreed human rights framework is needed more than ever.

Today, let us encourage one another to assert the importance of all human rights, for all, in the political, social, environmental and all of the shared aspects of our lives.

And let us remind ourselves that, if we want to enjoy our rights – the right to a healthy environment, to participation in decision-making, to freedom of opinion and speech, to freedom from domestic violence, to religious freedom or to any of the other rights contained in the Universal Declaration – we must ensure that the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are secured and realised.”