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Happy Human Rights Day

December 10th is International Human Rights Day. It commemorates the day on which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948. Two years after its proclamation, in 1950, the UN General Assembly declared December 10th as Human Rights Day.

Human Rights are universal and inalienable: they belong to all people, regardless of their race, sex, nationality, mother tongue, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristics.

The United Nations has defined a broad range of internationally accepted rights, including the human right to life, freedom, education, employment and many other rights.

As stated in the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” These words were not chosen by chance, as they are aimed at making reforms in the field of human rights protection and establishing equality. The declaration is based on the protection of human rights, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages, due to which it is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Although there is still a long way to go in terms of improving human rights protection, the existence of this document still speaks of its absolute appreciation by states and societies.

The motto of the 2021 Human Rights Day campaign is equality, which derives from the ideology of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year’s discourse is centered on the topics of equality, inclusion and anti-discrimination, which intends to protect the rights of vulnerable groups – children, women, indigenous people, LGBTQI+ people, migrants, people with disabilities.

By focusing on Human Rights Day, one must not forget International Human Rights Defender’s Day, which is celebrated every year on December 9. Human rights protection would be impossible without the existence of human rights defenders, as they are the main driving force; the main goal of their activities is the proper implementation of human rights for vulnerable groups. Recently, human rights defenders have been repeatedly targeted for their activities, which endangers their physical existence and work, and consequently, the vulnerable groups with whom they interact or whose rights they are protecting. For this reason, the role of the state in supporting human rights defenders is very important. The state must respond appropriately to the targeting of human rights defenders, protecting them from any kind of manipulation or attacks.

Due to the recent crisis in Armenia, the level of vulnerability of the human rights has increased significantly. The state was forced to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement of people because of COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of which the number of domestic violence cases against vulnerable groups including LGBT people sharply increased. Aside from that, various cases of manipulation were recorded due to the war in 2020. In such circumstances it is necessary to state the importance of the involvement of civil society organizations like Pink Armenia, as in Armenia very often mostly these kinds of organizations advocate for the protection of human rights and take appropriate action in this direction. In Armenia, the state must make a great contribution to the human rights protection, and most importantly, to the rights of vulnerable groups, also ensuring the efficient operation and safety of human rights defenders. It must give importance to the human rights of LGBT people in the context of human rights protection by developing appropriate legislation to address the issue․

The International Human Rights Day once again gives the opportunity to raise awareness and commemorate human rights violations based on discrimination and to take appropriate actions on the issue.