Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



Gilmore: push back by speaking out and standing up for human rights

15 August 2018

Now, more than ever, we must stand together and demand public scrutiny and participation in decisions that impact all your lives, said UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore. She urged the audience in South Africa to be together in protest and add voices to those pointing out injustices, and progressive social change.

Gilmore’s comments were part of the conference called “Supporting social movements and civil society activism to Leave No One Behind for peace, prosperity and sustainable development” which took place in Pretoria, South Africa. The event, hosted jointly by the UN Human Rights Office, UN Women and Amnesty International, brought together activists from across the globe to discuss the push back against human rights, particularly the right of peaceful dissent. The event is part of the reflections and celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which happens in December.

Gilmore also co-authored an opinion piece on the issue, along with UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Tawanda Mutasah, Amnesty International Senior Director, calling for more support for women’s rights activists.

Throughout history, defenders, civil society organizations, and human rights movements have led the struggle for rights and justice and have suffered against the shrinking space to do so, Gilmore said. In 106 of the UN countries, civic space is limited, affecting the quality of people’s lives and their ability to fully engage in democratic life. But we can push back, Gilmore says. How? By continuing to promote and protect basic, fundamental human rights as enshrined in the UDHR.

Watch Gilmore’s speech in full below.

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

people have stood up for human rights

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