Human Rights Day: Demand better for freedom and dignity

December 10, 2018 1:00 PM
By Vince Cable
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

On 10th December 1948, history was made. The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the shadow of the Second World War, the nations of the world came together to declare that everyone - no matter who they are and where they live - has the same fundamental rights.

With one voice, we pledged to "strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance."

That was a mission statement for the world. But it equally serves as a mission statement for the Liberal Democrats today.

We are committed to promoting and protecting human rights, here in the UK and around the world.

And, as we celebrate the momentous step that was taken 70 years ago today, we must also rededicate ourselves to that mission.

Because too often and in too many places, human rights and freedoms are not effectively recognised and observed.

Almost a thousand people were executed last year, and more than 20,000 are languishing on death row. Women are tortured, imprisoned and even murdered simply for demanding that rights are respected.

We are committed to promoting and protecting human rights, here in the UK and around the world.

65 million people have been forcibly displaced or left stateless, including the 1 million Rohingya Muslims who are the victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

Here in the UK, more than 2,000 people are being held indefinitely in immigration detention centres, including 240 who've been there for more than six months.

State intelligence agencies routinely invade our privacy by intercepting electronic communications, and the Government is pushing through a new Counter-Terrorism Bill that unnecessarily erodes individual freedoms.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand a freer society where rights and liberties are protected.

That's why we will continue to #StandUp4HumanRights - on Human Rights Day and every day. Stand with us.