December 10, 2023 — Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV) joins the United Nations, celebrating the anniversary of this important milestone in advancing freedom, justice, and equality for all, but also reflecting on the alarming state of human rights violations in so many parts of the world.
This year’s Human Rights Day celebration focuses on rejuvenating the values established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially as those rights are under attack. According to Amnesty International, last year “saw new, renewed and protracted conflicts that led to appalling tragedies. Some of them amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Across the world, authorities continued their heavy-handed repression of universal freedoms.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also has inspired the Hizmet movement’s own Core Values declaration. To help bolster those universal values, Hizmet movement participants focus their efforts on advancing respect for the rule of law, including international law, upholding the dignity of every human being, the empowerment of women, respect for diversity, and pluralism through peaceful and positive action.
Hizmet participants have advocated for equal rights and opportunity for all with a multitude of volunteer initiatives, from organizing intercultural and interfaith dialogues to advancing educational opportunities for the disadvantaged and providing humanitarian relief and critical services to those beset by poverty, war, and natural disasters. This year’s Human Rights Day serves as a reminder of the progress made in advancing human rights and the enormous challenges that remain. It is a call for all of us to recommit to work to help achieve freedom, justice, and dignity for every human being.
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