WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and a Senior Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement recognizing Human Rights Day, which celebrates the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
“Across the world, everyday, brave men and women work to protect and advance human rights. Some wear uniforms, some are part of non-governmental organizations, but most are seemingly ordinary people with an extraordinary commitment to promoting human dignity and advancing human rights for all. On this Human Rights Day, I would like to thank those who stand up for these fundamental and universal principles.
“Throughout history and even more so in recent months, we have seen that, taking a stand for human rights often comes at a great risk. On this day I say a prayer for all those who have fallen victim to unjust detainment, marginalization, and even death as a result of their heroic actions.
“From the repression of journalists in Azerbaijan and China, to the brutal regimes in North Korea and Uzbekistan, we must stand together in condemnation of injustice and continue the urgent task of fostering an international community where every person has the same equal opportunities to contribute to mankind. The United States must lead the international community in advancing human rights.
“But our international leadership must start at home. We cannot afford to overlook the human rights issues in our own backyard. This Congress I was proud to introduce several pieces of legislation that address our own challenges—legislation to end racial profiling at every level of law enforcement, legislation to restore the right to vote to Americans who have served their time, and legislation that would create a Constitutional Amendment to give women full and equal rights under our constitution. In the upcoming Congress, I will work across the aisle to ensure that human rights remain at the forefront of every discussion.
Cardin Recognizes International Human Rights Day