UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Janet Ekstract – As Human Rights Day activities got underway worldwide, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet emphasised that this year’s Human Rights Day takes place amid “tremendous activism” from youth across the globe.
Bachelet said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to all those millions of children, teenagers and young adults who have been standing up and speaking out more and more loudly about the climate crisis facing our planet.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on everyone to support youth. Guterres commented: “I call on everyone to support young people who are stepping up for human rights.”
Bachelet pointed out that the climate crisis is the greatest threat to human rights globally since World War Ii. She commented that it puts a multitude of rights at risk including the right to life, health, food, water, shelter, development and self-determination.
Guterres echoed that sentiment when he reiterated that: “Every single person is entitled to all rights.”
The human rights chief said the voice of youth must be heard and that their concerns must be dealt with since it’s their future at stake.
The President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad Bande also confirmed Bachelet’s sentiment when he commented: “We have to utilise the idealism of youth and empower them to stand up for equal rights and fair treatment of everyone everywhere.” He added: “We need to ensure that youth have the right to participate on decision-making and have their voices heard.”
Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights that proclaims the inalienable rights of all people by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
Human Rights Day also marks another UN annual observance: the conclusion of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Meanwhile, Muhammad-Bande praised the contributions of women activists globally for their dedication to maintaining collective human rights.