December 10, 2022– The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) joins the United Nations (UN) in celebrating Human Rights Day and recommitting our efforts to strive for dignity, freedom, and justice for all. Hizmet Movement’s first core value is respect for human beings and fundamental human rights — we believe that every human being is equal before the law and under God and should be treated with dignity and respect.
As Hizmet participants, we strive to uphold all human rights and freedoms expressed in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hizmet volunteers turn these words into actions by establishing schools, tutoring centers, and after-school programs that provide an environment of mutual respect for everybody. Hizmet participants also coordinate humanitarian aid campaigns to facilitate a dignified living for those affected by poverty, wars, or disasters, and organize dialogue and civic engagement activities among people from different religions, races, and worldviews to promote peace and mutual understanding.
This year’s Human Rights Day theme asserts that health is a fundamental human right, especially for women who suffer from gender-based violence. Hizmet participants are committed to the ideal of providing women with the same opportunities as men in all aspects of society without discrimination — our humanitarian and educational efforts reaffirm this ideal and strive to make the world more equitable.
Human Rights Day also reminds us that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his brutal suppression of human rights in Turkey, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens domestically and their relatives abroad. Over the last five years, more than 600,000 Turkish citizens have been investigated and over 100,000 of them received prison sentences for nothing other than their affiliation with the Hizmet Movement. Erdogan has dismantled Turkey’s democratic institutions and turned them into political instruments to solidify his power grab. Turkey has been listed in the category of countries that are “not free” by Freedom House, putting the country in the company of those with the worst human rights records in the world. In the face of Erdogan’s disregard for fundamental human rights, AFSV is committed to speaking out for the voiceless.
This year’s Human Rights Day is a reminder for all of us to recommit to the ideal of treating every human being with dignity and protecting their rights.
Download statement in PDF.