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Speak up stop discrimination

A special focus on discrimination

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. These first few famous words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years ago established the basic premise of international human rights law. Yet today, the fight against discrimination remains a daily struggle for millions around the globe. Starting on Human Rights Day 2009 and continuing throughout 2010, the UN human rights office has a focus on discrimination. 

The United Nations has since its very beginning set as one of its goals “ to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.1 as this phenomenon is more subtle, more corrosive and more resilient than any one had thought.

For millions of people globally, the struggle to extract themselves from situations of discrimination at almost every turn in their daily lives is an impossible ambition. Tragically, as we have seen in the past twenty years, policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide, policies based on discriminatory ideologies, have led to destruction, exile and death.

Despite the challenges and setbacks, there has been and continues to be a rejection of discrimination . There have been enough successes to demonstrate that this scourge can be eradicated.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is a world leader in the stand against the forces of discrimination. As the guardian of international human rights law, the UN Human Rights office advocates for and promotes human rights reforms in many countries across the globe and throughout the UN community.


1. Charter of the United Nations