International Human Rights Day

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 10, 2012


On December 10, 1948, world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly and affirmed the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all people. In adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the international community committed to building a world where all people are “born free and equal in dignity and rights” and are entitled to liberty, equality, and justice under the law. As we celebrate Human Rights Day more than six decades after the adoption of this cornerstone document, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting and protecting its fundamental truths.

We do so by advancing the universal freedoms enshrined in the UDHR, including the freedom to speak, the freedom to assemble, and the freedom to worship. When governments seek to deny these liberties through repressive laws and blunt force, we stand against this oppression and with people around the world as they defend their rights. These rights are complementary and mutually reinforcing. As I said in Dublin, religious freedom is about people being able to practice their faith, but it is also about the right of people to think what they want, say what they think, associate with others, and assemble peacefully without the state looking over their shoulders or prohibiting them from doing so. It is neither necessary nor acceptable to sacrifice one right in the name of another. MORE

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