Shine Your Light for Human Rights

A series of 14 events across seven time zones spotlighting the centrality of rights to the daily lives of people everywhere.


Shine your light for our right to peace

6 December 2018, Doha

UDHR Article 2 affirms that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind”.

Rights and freedoms don’t diminish according to where you live nor because of the circumstances in which you live; even at times of crisis or conflict rights endure. This event will shine a light on what it means to promote human rights in times of conflict, including as a means for conflict prevention and in promotion of sustainable peace. It will celebrate the courageous work of those who stand up for rights in conflict settings.

6 December - In celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Training and Documentation Centre for Southwest Asia and the Arab Region in cooperation with the Centre of Conflict and Humanitarian Studies of the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies organized a Panel Discussion on Human Rights are Essential for Peace. The event took place at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and was attended, among others, by a significant component of the diplomatic community in Doha, academics, students, journalists, and representatives of some Qatari national partners.

Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Former Special Rapporteur on Sudan, emphasized the UDHR and significance of its 70th anniversary. Her talk then focused on Afghanistan as she showcased how human rights violations can lead to conflict, and how ignoring accountability for these violations would lead neither to stability nor to justice. “Peace is not the end of the conflict, peace is more than that, peace is human security, peace is access to justice, peace is to live with dignity” she added.

Dr. Ghanim AlNajjar, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University, Chair of the Board of Arab Human Rights Fund based in Beirut, and former Special Rapporteur on Somalia, referred to his first-hand knowledge of Somalia and Yemen pointing to the causal link between conflict and the absence of good governance and denial of basic rights in the two countries. He highlighted the example of Somalia (northern Somalia) that witnessed steady growth as a result of peace since the early 1990s. He furthermore pointed to the fact that human rights issues are conspicuously absent in all negotiations aiming at reaching a political settlement to the Yemeni conflict.

Ms Aicha Loukhmas, a lawyer and human rights activist from Morocco highlighted the Moroccan experience in transitional justice, the Committee on Equity of Reconciliation. She argued that although the experience was positive in general and pioneering in the MENA region, it fell short of full accountability and redress for past violations.

An interactive dialogue with the audience followed the panelists’ presentations, moderated by Professor Sultan Barakat - Director of the Centre on Conflict and Humanitarian studies.

More information

  • 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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