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Photo: Markéta Trnková (©MZV)
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Statement of the MFA on the Occasion of Human Rights Day


The day of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has forever become the international Day of Human Rights. In light of current and upcoming anniversaries, the commemoration of the Universal Declaration carries special significance for the Czech Republic. The document, which builds on the dreadful experience of the Second World War, has become the cornerstone of international human rights law as well as the Czech legislation. Even though 70 years have passed since the adoption of the Universal Declaration, respect for human rights cannot be taken as granted. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pays tribute to all those who dedicate their effort to the protection of human rights.

Every year, 10th December provides useful opportunity to look closer at how human rights are implemented. Many events take place this day to support human rights. This year, we will commemorate 30th anniversary of the breakfast of the then French President Mittterrand with eight Czechoslovak human rights defenders. This memorable meeting proves that even a symbolic international support to those who actively defend human rights is a significant assurance of the importance of active engagement in public affairs.

Freely operating civil society, be it non-governmental organizations, civil initiatives, activists, journalists, artists or professional associations or trade unions, is an important building block of functioning democratic system. Equally, freedom of association or expression, free media, which facilitate public debate and informed decision-making, are part of the foundation on which democracy, rule of law and public participation are built. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic strives for promoting human dignity and all universal internationally recognized human rights. Through its Transition Promotion Programme, the Ministry offers to share Czech experience.

At international level, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports human rights organizations and mechanisms which play an important preventive role by bringing attention to the worsening human rights situations in the world and supporting implementation of international human rights commitments. In January 2019, the Czech Republic will, for the third time, become a member of the UN Human Rights Council (for the period 2019 – 2021). Through its active participation, the Czech Republic intends to contribute to better promotion of human rights in the world.