OPAAL has signed up to a Human Rights Day letter from civil society groups. Providing an opportunity for groups to join together and speak up for the importance of human rights laws for us all, this sits well with OPAAL’s commitment to advocacy and thereby to empowerment and to ensuring that the voices of older people are heard.
The letter states:
Sixty-five years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR), we ask political leaders to acknowledge the continued relevance of human rights both on the global stage and here at home. As leaders of civil society groups we see the vital role of human rights in ensuring a fair and healthy democracy, and helping us all to live with dignity and respect. Yet we are concerned that the value of human rights, which so many across the world look to for inspiration in setting down domestic laws, rarely feature in the current Westminster rhetoric.This Human Rights Day, we ask political leaders to ensure that recent commitments at the United Nations Council to ‘work tirelessly for the promotion and protection of human rights, both domestically and abroad’ are made a reality. We hope that the UK will stand firm on the European Convention on Human Rights and our Human Rights Act, both inspired by the UDHR and providing vital protections to us all here at home. There is much to do to ensure these human rights have meaning for all people in the UK; our political debates should focus on making this happen rather than taking us away from the universal human rights standards long-championed by the UK.
We hope that those in positions of responsibility are able to support human rights for everyone. It’s time for the recent lambasting of the Human Rights Act here in the UK to end and a more considered approach to be taken.
December 10, 2013 at 10:13 am
How appropriate that it’s Nelson Mandela’s memorial today, given his extraordinarily admirable commitment to and championing of human rights.