Press Release

December 10, 2023: ICHRRF International Human Rights Day

Today, on December 10, 2023, ICHRRF observed International Human Rights Day. It has been a very eventful year in many respects: The Commission's activities, rapid geopolitical developments internationally, and in the advancement of technological applications. ICHRRF redoubles its commitment to helping a paradigmatic shift in how the world evaluates Human Rights, identifies real problems and formulates solutions.

A spirit of honesty and reformation should inform all intellectual discussion on Human Rights, rather than pure legalism. This foundational belief of ICHRRF members and supporters stands reaffirmed on this day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UNHCR and International Charter of Human Rights were all conceived at a time when terrorist operations via non-state actors had not become a feature of international warfare as it is now. Today, terrorists embedded in ideologically primed civilian populations target military and non-military citizens and promptly retreat into the safety afforded by international norms of Human Rights. An understanding of modern warfare needs to be factored into how Human Rights (and responsibilities) are perceived on the global stage.

ICHRRF remains committed to highlighting serious Human Rights situations across the world that are underrepresented in mainstream media and Human Rights discourse. There continue to be serious Human Rights issues that are almost ignored by the international community while others receive the lion's share of media attention. Africa is witnessing increasing turmoil and violence, and ethnic cleansing of Pakistan's Hindu minority, especially the abduction of Hindu women, is a daily affair. Yet, these are completely overshadowed by war in the Ukraine or the events in Israel and the Gaza strip.

The spread of advancing technologies also raises interesting concerns for Human Rights. ICHRRF holds that it is imperative that enlightened governments worldwide cooperate to create a technological ecosystem that is cutting edge but that is not misused against the Human Rights of people. Information warfare and graphic images that impinge on people's consciousness is having a counter-intuitive effect on public interest in Human Rights. Empathy tends to be a limited resource, and the medium-term effect of this will be mass desensitization to Human Rights worldwide.

The ideological roots of endemic violence remain unaddressed. Violence rooted in implacable religious ideologies are an aspect that needs to be discussed rationally in order to bring about real reformation instead of a mere hiatus in hostilities.

ICHRRF urges governments and non-government actors to place the future of the world's children at the center of all geopolitical calculations, because there are environmental and existential problems that require unity and voluntary personal compromise and sacrifice at the level of all humanity.