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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of Human Rights Day, which will be observed on Sunday, December 10:
"On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and the world collectively pledged to protect and honor the rights of men, women, and children around the globe. The Declaration states that 'recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.'
"This year's observation of Human Rights Day will focus on a specific kind of dignity - the dignity that comes from being safe from poverty. As one of the world's most eloquent and admired human rights defenders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: 'The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.'
"Dr. King was absolutely right: Poverty has no place in the 21st Century. Poverty is inextricably linked with disease, conflict, and despair, which are tragically prevalent in the lives of far too many people around the world. Poverty and hopelessness also lead to instability and global unrest. Throughout our history, the United States has been a bastion and beacon of human rights, and as we mark this year's Human Rights Day, we must renew our commitment to fight poverty and stand up for human rights around the world."