Friday, December 12, 2008

Human Rights at 60

Just a brief mention of the 60th anniversary of that fantastic document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights text here and presented in a great animation on Youtube.

Obviously the declaration came out of the terrible realisation of the depths that humanity can descend to but also ways that human rights are violated in smaller ways as well that tend to undermine the rule of law and equity between human beings.

The UDHR is a document well worth celebrating and has spawned a number of human rights frameworks and initiatives (regional and national human rights laws for instance including the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights).

And amidst all the talk of the need to include responsibilities as well as rights it is instructive to note they are referenced at different points in the Declaration.

Lots of stuff on the 60 anniversary of the UDHR on the EHRC's website including a speech by Gordon Brown.

After 60 years we are only just starting to put human rights into practice.

Recovering from the UNISON LGBT Conference

Complete exhaustion after UNISON's annual LGBT Conference is my excuse as to an absence of blogging.

The database of Conference decisions can be found here (at the time of checking it lacked composites and motions carried for National Delegate Conference).

Most people there thought it was a really great Conference and although I was really tired at the end one of the most enjoyable ones I have attended.

Started with a fantastic civic reception with various civic speakers, notably including Dawn Primarolo who gave a great barnstorming political speech.

Ceri Goddard of the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) gave a powerful address on the importance of human rights in every day life and making them a reality without going to Court (especially in public services).

There was just the right balance of controversial debates (boring if evrything goes through 'on the nod') with passionate debates on a wide range of issues such as male rape, the availability of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and a wide variety of motions from Homophobria in sport, marriage equality to Pride is a protest and motions calling for International Solidarity and work within the Commonwealth.