In Advocacy Hub, Learning Space

Last December marked the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. It was a milestone document in the history of human rights, drafted by representatives from different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. Greuniversally protected. The UDHR is widely recognised as having inspired and paved the way for the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties applied today permanently at global and regional levels.

Our member, Dorcas, has been commemorating this milestone in human rights protection by bringing together stories from a series of individuals from across all parts of the world and all walks of life. Protecting human rights is an integral part of what Dorcas does. Still, in the turbulent world we find ourselves in today, the human rights of the ,marginalised and the vulnerable are being increasingly threatened, and their voices often go unheard. Dorcas works not only to meet e these people’s needs but also works to empower them to be able to participate in an inclusive society. Their campaign is working towards this goal, sharing stories from stakeholders that are part of the global mission to safeguard human rights against oppression.

Agnes, the Chief Executive Officer of Dorcas, shared the following statement to kick off the campaign:

‘Human rights and inclusion are woven into the fabric of what Dorcas is and does. In practice, this means we strive for a society in which equality, well-being, freedom and protection are promoted, especially for people who are excluded. Therefore, our work focuses on marginalised groups, in particular older people, people with disabilities, women and children and ethnic groups such as Roma. We enable them to develop their talents and create opportunities for them and their communities to become more resilient, address their problems and flourish.’

‘Dorcas always tries to give human rights a face. We work with local people and partners to overcome taboos, enable people to care for each other in their local communities and make their voices heard in the corridors of power. For instance, we seek to make education accessible to youth with disabilities in South Sudan. This not only includes obvious solutions like wheelchair ramps but also ensuring the curriculum is adapted to the needs of blind students. Other examples are breaking the taboo around menstruation and providing menstrual products in Tanzania so that girls can continue to go to school, safety nets for older people in Eastern Europe that break social isolation and meet basic needs, and skills training and economic empowerment for refugees and their host communities in the Middle East.’

‘Through our programmes, we also work on human rights and inclusion in the wider society. For example, in the countries where we are active, we encourage local authorities and partners to work together to realise a just and inclusive society in which everyone, whatever their background, is heard and can participate. Closer to home, in the Netherlands and Europe, we partner with a range of interest groups to raise public awareness and ensure the voices of marginalised people are heard in Dutch and European political circles.’

‘I am proud that Dorcas employs people with a rich diversity of backgrounds, skills and insights who passionately stand up for a wide range of human rights. At Dorcas, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand.’

Read more stories from the campaign here.

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