Congressman Lowenthal Introduces Bipartisan Legislation Honoring 69th Anniversary of Human Rights Day and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 7, 2017
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal today introduced a bipartisan House Resolution honoring the 69th Anniversary of Human Rights Day and the 1948 ratification by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

 "The promotion of respect for human rights as embodied in the UDHR is a key component of the leadership role the United States plays around the world," Congressman Lowenthal said. "The Congress, and the world, must recognize that those who are denied basic human rights, such as the freedoms of speech, religion, and political expression, are also denied basic human respect and dignity. It diminishes our shared humanity when people are denied these basic and universal rights. The world would be a safer place if human rights were universally protected."

Championed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and adopted by the United Nations in 1948, the UDHR represents the first comprehensive international agreement about the specific rights and freedoms of all human beings. Today, the UDHR is the world's most translated document, with over 416 different translations.

Since 1948, the UDHR has been the foundational document for enumerable international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and is a key component of the International Bill of Human Rights which went into effect in 1976.  

"The rights enshrined in the UDHR uphold the basic principles of life, freedom, and humanity that our nation was founded on, and which are enshrined in own Declaration of Independence and Constitution," Congressman Lowenthal said. "Sadly, governments like those of Vietnam and Cambodia, nations with deep ties to my district, continue to remain some of the worst offenders in their blatant refusal to respect the rights their own citizens are entitled to. It is my hope that this resolution will serve as a signal to countries around the world, including Vietnam and Cambodia, that the United States will continue to stand for the basic rights of all human beings, no matter where they may live."

Congressman Lowenthal's legislation currently has the support of 58 House Members.

A bipartisan companion resolution was also introduced in the Senate today by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

To read the full text of the resolution, please click here.

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Human Rights Day 2017