Wednesday, 25 May 2016

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Human Rights Day: "My Voice Counts"

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On 10 December, the international community will mark the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year the theme of Human Rights Day is “My Voice Counts”, to celebrate the right of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making. The theme highlights the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government.

In the United Kingdom, 65% of people say they trust their political institutions, higher than the OECD average of 56%, according to the OECD Better Life Index.  High voter turnout is a measure of public trust in government and of citizens' participation in the political process. In the most recent elections for which data is available, voter turnout in the United Kingdom was 61% of those registered.

Committed to mainstreaming human rights across the UN, the UK is seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for the term January 2014 - December 2016. Having served a two-year period at the Council on two occasions between 2006 and 2011, the UK will promote the elimination of violence against women and work towards combating torture and tackling modern forms of slavery.

Apart from celebrating human rights and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this year 10 December also marks the end of the 16 days of activism violence against women. According to “Unite”, the 16 day campaign has proven to be very successful with 444 registered actions globally. Almost 5.5 million people have signed a global call to make the end of gender-based violence a top priority for the international community.