Chair’s statement: International Human Rights Day
Statement by the Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Maria Arena, on International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
“2019 was marked by waves of protests, often expressed peacefully, in Algeria, Chile, Hong Kong, Iraq, Lebanon and Sudan. These movements show how relevant the Universal Declaration of Human Rights still is decades after its adoption by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.
Peoples’ aspiration to the rule of law, justice, and democracy demonstrates the universal nature of human rights. These aspirations are also voiced by younger generations who march for the climate and for a better world. Children’s voices resonated inside the European Parliament during the high-level conference organised to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most ratified international treaty in the world.
During the event, children highlighted the need for a global roadmap to enhance their fundamental rights, particularly access to health, education, protection and the fight against all forms of violence. It is unacceptable that more than one million children worldwide are deprived of their liberty, as shown in the recent United Nations report.
Many children continue to be impacted by conflict situations. It is chilling to note that, between 2014 and 2017, more than 30,000 unaccompanied minors disappeared on migration routes as they fled war and misery. Refugees, migrants and displaced people as rights-holders must also be at the centre of our concerns. The EU and its Parliament have vigorously supported the global compacts for refugees and migrants, which can only be effectively implemented if these rights are respected. Persistent conflicts remind us also to urgently address impunity and to strengthen institutions and international criminal justice. Impunity must be dismantled by the force of law.”