Protecting our human rights

10 December, 2015

Next year will mark the 50th Anniversary of two international human rights treaties: the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). These treaties mark the foundations of the International Bill of Human Rights. Today’s acknowledgment of Human Rights Day represents the start of a yearlong campaign to promote these rights.

Protecting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities: addressing contemporary global challenges
Wednesday 13 – Friday 15 January 2016 | WP1442

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of two international human rights treaties, the ICESCR and the ICCPR. These treaties mark the foundations of the International Bill of Human Rights. Today’s acknowledgment of Human Rights Day represents the start of a yearlong campaign to promote these rights.

Within the world today many people live without the knowledge or the capacity to be able to protect themselves from having their rights violated. Without adequate judicial systems, or political institutions it can be difficult to uphold the rights laid out within these treaties, and indeed the wider International Bill of Human Rights.

Over the course of the year the UN Human Rights Office will be launching an initiative entitled ‘Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.’ to bring attention to the inalienable and inherent rights of all citizens. The theme stems from the initial freedoms codified in the International Bill of Human Rights: freedom from fear, of speech, of worship, and from want.

In January 2016 Wilton Park is convening a meeting on Protecting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities: addressing contemporary global challenges. Religious and national or ethnic diversity are two of the main components of pluralism in contemporary societies. At the same time, ethnic and religious diversity, and inadequate government protection of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, still constitute an unresolved challenge, to varying degrees, in all parts of the world. In recent years, this challenge has been compounded by conflict and instability in the Middle East and the growth of extremism, which has highlighted the urgent plight of ethnic and religious minorities in the region.

With a range of stakeholders, this Wilton Park meeting will aim to, amongst other things, explore how protection for ethnic and religious minorities in current situations of concern may be improved, in particular by national governments and institutions.

Further information

International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.

Related events

Protecting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities: addressing contemporary global challenges (2016)

Strengthening the UN human rights treaty monitoring system: what are the next steps? (2015)

Addressing implementation gaps: improving cooperation between global and regional human rights mechanisms (2014)

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