Video Statement by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Human Rights Day 2020
December 10, 2020
This year’s Human Rights Day falls at a time we will never forget.
COVID-19 has taken us by storm and shaken our world.
A tragedy followed by an extraordinary opportunity to recover better.
This Human Rights Day is a call to action.
A call for all of us to seize this opportunity and build the world we want.
For that, we must accept the lessons from this crisis.
First one: end discrimination of any kind. Like pre-existing conditions that make individuals more fragile, gaps in respecting human rights have made all of society more vulnerable. If anyone is at risk, everyone is at risk. Discrimination, exclusion and other human rights violations harm us all.
The second is: reduce widespread inequalities. Universal social protection, universal health coverage, and other systems for the delivery of fundamental rights are not luxuries. They keep societies standing and can shape a more equitable future.
Third: encourage participation, especially from young people. All voices have a right to be heard.
Fourth: increase and intensify our resolve and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a concrete agenda for universal human rights.
These are not just the right things to do – they are the smart things to do.
And there is only one way they can be done: by standing up for human rights. Because human rights yield fair and resilient societies. They are the answer to this human crisis.
Like the climate emergency, COVID-19 reminds us that we are bound together as one humanity.
We must act.
Working together, we can recover better.
With strong solidarity, we can build a world that is more resilient, sustainable and just.
Join me in standing up for human rights.