EU Human Rights Week commemorates Universal Declaration anniversary

EU Human Rights Week
© iStock/Vladimir Cetinski

The European Parliament will host its first EU Human Rights Week this week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

MEPs, artists and other high level guests will attend an EU Human Rights Week conference tomorrow to discuss global human rights issues, including digital human rights monitoring, protecting the human rights of minorities; and new challenges posed by technology to the defence of human rights. Panel speakers will include UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, International Criminal Court General Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and EU Special Representative on Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis; while celebrated Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will deliver a keynote speech on sustainable development and human rights.

In his introduction to the EU Human Rights Week conference programme, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said: “Celebrating this anniversary will…be a great source of inspiration to us all, contributing to strengthening our common resolve to advance human rights and to renew our commitment and attachment to rights and freedoms for all.”

Various committees attached to the European Parliament will observe EU Human Rights Week with hearings on how to strengthen universal respect for human rights, with particular focus on reinforcing the rights accorded to women and children. Hearings will consider the role of governments, institutions and civil society as a whole in implementing good practice around human rights; while the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Human Affairs (LIBE) is convening today to discuss the release of a new report into fundamental rights, covering migrant, LGBT and disability rights and the independence of judiciary systems around the EU.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will be commemorated during EU Human Rights Week, was formally adopted by the United Nations on December 10 1948 and is the first international document to set out the basic rights and freedoms which should be accorded to everyone. It forms the foundation of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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