05/12/2005

Human rights hold key to peace

The NI Human Rights Commission have organised a number of events to celebrate Human Rights Week.

Chief Commissioner Monica McWilliams said: “The aim of Human Rights Week is to increase the level of public awareness and understanding of human rights as a key ingredient for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance, and peace. Now more than ever, it is important for individuals and agencies to stand together in promoting and protecting our hard earned rights.

"At a time when governments across the world are attempting to erode human rights protections in the face of international terrorism, it is vital that we celebrate the important role of human rights in supporting democracy and peace.”

In association with a number of agencies, the Commission is organising a programme of activities this week with the aim of raising awareness of human rights issues both locally and internationally.

In the run up to International Human Rights Day on Saturday December 10, the Commission hopes to profile the important work of human rights defenders in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, the Commission is organising a reception with Derry City Council on 10 December in the Guildhall where a number of keynote speakers will outline key human rights issues in Northern Ireland.

A major conference reviewing the Bill of Rights project is also taking place on the December 7-8 in Armagh.

In addition, organisations such as Help the Aged, Belfast City Council, Amnesty International and a range of human rights education agencies hope to profile their work during the week.

On 10 December 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It declared that the "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world".

Since then human rights groups across the world have celebrated this annual event.

(SP)

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