We mark International Human Rights Day 2014 by publishing ‘the Jewish case for human rights’.
René Cassin’s booklet – Human Rights: Protecting. Empowering. Inspiring. – argues that:
- human rights are integral to the faith and tradition of Judaism
- international human rights laws were set up in response to the Holocaust, and
- proposals to weaken the UK’s human rights laws are profoundly worrying, particularly for minorities.
Writing in the booklet, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, says:
The devastating cost of World War II … reminds us that democracy can be deceptively and dangerously fragile. The Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, upon which the Act is based, were established to ensure the untold human suffering of World War II could never happen again.
Read how human rights laws are vital to real people who are suffering, or have suffered, persecution and discrimination, including:
- Sara – a Jew threatened with deportation from the UK to Iraq
- Jakob Finci – a Holocaust survivor, war hero and humanitarian activist – barred from public office in Bosnia because he is Jewish
- Angela Buxton, 1956 Wimbledon Ladies’ Doubles champion – denied membership of tennis clubs because she was Jewish
Outlining René Cassin’s reasons for publishing the booklet, Director Shauna Leven, says:
We want to show that human rights laws matter. They are not abstract and academic. Nor are they, as we are sometimes told, a villain’s charter. They make a real difference to real people’s lives, protecting vulnerable minorities and the victims of crime. On International Human Rights Day, it is important to remember why these laws were set up. And it is even more important to highlight the dangers of proposals to water down the UK’s commitment to these fundamental rights.