WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in recognition of Human Rights Day, today December 10:
“On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Serving as an International Bill of Rights, the Declaration represents a universal commitment to protecting the rights and freedoms of all men, women, and children around the globe.
“In its most solemn form, the Declaration seeks to safeguard humanity from the atrocities that have been committed in violation of the basic fundamental rights acknowledged to all human beings. Sadly, these violations continue today in the most egregious of forms.
“As we approach the 60-year anniversary of this historic commitment to universal human rights, it is our moral imperative to do better to uphold and enforce the charter of the Declaration. For example, the world community must redouble efforts to finally put an end to the genocidal slaughter of innocent men, women and children in Darfur, Sudan.
“And, as a leader in the defense of freedom, the United States must ensure that it respects the rule of law and the basic human rights of detainees in our custody.
“As one of the world’s greatest humanitarian leaders, Mother Teresa, once said, ‘Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity.’ As we recognize Human Rights Day and the international struggles of those who are denied their fundamental freedoms, let us be reinvigorated in our collective mission to stand strong and speak loud in the defense of human liberty, dignity, and justice throughout the world.”