UN Human Rights Day 2009 Devoted to the Fight against Discrimination

On 10 December - international Human Rights Day - The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) invites new endorsements of the Declaration of Principles on Equality, a set of key principles drafted and signed by 128 leading experts and launched by ERT in October 2008. With this renewed appeal, ERT responds to the initiative of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to declare discrimination as the theme of Human Rights Day 2009.

Stating that complacency is discrimination’s best friend, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, speaking ahead of Human Rights Day, called on individuals worldwide to make an extra effort to tackle discrimination, starting from their own homes and workplaces.

ERT has also addressed specific recommendations related to the rights to non-discrimination and equality to the governments of nine countries on which it had focused its work earlier this year: Latvia, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, UK and the USA.

In her video message devoted to Human Rights Day, the Trust's Executive Director, Dr Dimitrina Petrova, said that despite the range of international covenants and conventions prohibiting discrimination, 80% of UN member states have no comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. She stated that the Declaration of Principles on Equality should be the new covenant on equality for the 21st Century, and called on organizations and individuals to endorse the Declaration as the basis on which states should develop comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.

To watch the video with Dimitrina Petrova’s message, as well as messages from other leaders in the human rights movement, including Thomas Hammarberg, Bacre Waly Ndiaye, and Anthony Romero among others, in which they describe their personal experience of discrimination, click here.

To see summaries of advocacy actions undertaken on the occasion of Human Rights Day by ERT, click here.

To watch the video message of UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay, click here.

To endorse the Declaration of Principles on Equality online, click here.