Standing up for human rights
Amid great constitutional change and uncertainty and on UN Human Rights Day, Quakers in Britain are joining more than 140 civil society groups in an open letter to the prime minister. They are seeking commitment to “stand firm on universal human rights standards as the foundation of a forward-looking UK".
Human Rights Day is observed across the globe every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Quakers have long held the equally dignity and worth of every person, and this is established in the Declaration.
The letter is being co-ordinated by The British Institute of Human Rights.
The full text reads:
Dear Prime Minister,
“Today, on Human Rights Day, we celebrate universal human rights. These freedoms, written down after World War II in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have been brought home through the UK's Human Rights Act and European laws.
“We face great constitutional change and uncertainty as your government seeks to navigate taking the UK out of the EU. Now is the time to focus on securing the everyday rights of people across the country. Rather than tampering with our hard-won fundamental freedoms, whether in the Human Rights Act or EU Charter, these legal standards must endure now and post-Brexit.
“We ask you to avoid isolation and division, committing instead to stand firm on universal human rights standards as the foundation of a forward-looking UK."