South Africa: International Human Rights Day, 2019 - a Wake-Up and a Warning


Today marks the 71st anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's the last international human rights day in a decade that started out relatively optimistically with prospects for the advance of human rights around the world -- but it's one that will end on a dark note that should challenge anyone who says they believe in human rights to take a stand.

In 2018, when marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Kumi Naidoo, the outgoing Secretary-General of Amnesty International, lamented that "if the leaders of the world were called upon to sign the UDHR today, they would be unable and unwilling to put human rights at the centre of global governance. Such a declaration would be impossible today".

Naidoo made this comment because Amnesty International in well placed to see how across the world, fundamental human rights are under attack.

Jails and cemeteries are filling up with human rights activists once more.

But what's unusual is that it's not just happening in China, Russia or North Korea, but in countries that are outwardly democratic.

In India, described as the world's largest democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is unapologetic as...

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