International Day of Human Rights – Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All

Today, we want to commemorate the International Day of Human Rights (December 10th) and its theme “Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All”. This year marks the 75th anniversary since the Declaration of Human Rights was presented and signed in Paris in 1948. Since then, the Declaration has universally set out the fundamental human rights of each individual.

Even though the Declaration has gained recognition over the years and efforts have been made to guarantee the Human Rights of each individual – including vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and migrants, it has recently faced many challenges. Several concerning occurrences, such as “pandemics, conflicts, exploding inequalities, morally bankrupt global financial system, racism, and climate change”, have led to Human Rights being neglected, especially of those in vulnerable and marginalised groups. Besides this, the Declaration have in some situations been conceptualised and translated for the benefit of institutions rather than the individual.

Hence, it is of utmost importance to continue our activism for the realisation, adaptation, and implementation of Human Rights for freedom, equality, and justice. In the case of our field, it continues to be important to create environments, services, and support systems adhering to the Human Rights for protection (prevention), [access to gender-sensitive] treatment, and supported recovery and reintegration. We have to ensure that our youth can grow up into a healthy adulthood, that persons facing substance use disorders have access to barrier-free, trauma-informed, and gender-sensitive, and that persons in recovery receive support from the community and in their reintegration process without stigma and marginalisation.

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