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10 December 2018

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Photo Credit: IOM/Amanda Nero

What Challenges Do We Still Face 70 Years On From the Human Rights Declaration

Geneva — In 1948, countries from all over the world came together in the General Assembly to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR, although legally non-binding, aspired to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of all people around the world. Since then, several legally binding human rights conventions have been negotiated and ratified by States. Although many important steps have been taken to advance the human rights of individuals in the 70 years since the UDHR was adopted, migrants continue to face significant challenges when trying to access their human rights.

Migrants are often disproportionately affected by human rights violations and abuse, and the risk increases greatly when they migrate irregularly. We see daily how the right to life of migrants is at risk as they resort to smugglers when trying to cross borders by sea, in desert; or travelling in unsafe and overcrowded trucks, containers and boats. During their journeys, some migrants find themselves in exploitative situations where their rights to liberty and to freedom from slavery are disrespected.

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Add Your Voice

Geneva — Seventy years ago today,  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed as a common standard for all peoples and nations.  On Human Rights Day, the International Organization for Migration stands up for the human rights of all people – regardless of migratory status, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or political opinion.

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Read more about the Global Compact for Migration

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Inas and Murat: "I think we will both be able to pick up our lives again where the war interrupted them."

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  • Africa Renewal ran an op-ed by IOM’s Richard Danziger in which he argued that sound migration policies and close cooperation among West and Central African countries and other countries of destination were essential to confront the challenges of migration.
  • The New York Times reported that as winter sets in, thousands of migrants are ‘trapped’ in Bosnia. IOM’s Peter Van der Auweraert expressed his concern about the treatment of migrants.

  • AP reported that Spanish authorities rescued 33 migrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, including a pregnant woman, in a small boat. According to IOM, nearly 60,000 irregular migrants have reached Spain thus far this year by sea.

  • Africanews reported on the various themes highlighted during IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival screenings in Egypt.

  • Euronews reported that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU), said she is planning ‘improvements’ on Angela Merkel's migration policies before the European election next year.
  • Quartz reported about ‘play labs’ – spaces where Rohingya children can take a break from the cramped quarters where they live and find release from the painful things they have seen.
  • Huffington Post reported that global experts are urging policymakers to rethink restrictions placed on immigrants’ access to health care.
  • GlobalPost reported about the role of theatre to help young migrants in Sicily heal from the trauma of sea-crossings.
  • Business Insider Australia reported that Denmark wants to isolate migrants on a remote island that once housed contagious animals.