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“We cannot be complacent” – Board of Deputies

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018

Today, 10 December 2018, is the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was a global response to the atrocities of the Second World War that led to the horror of the Holocaust. Our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin, was the Declaration’s co-author.

Marie van der Zyl, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews, has marked the anniversary with this statement:

Today, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, must be a moment for reflection. Seventy years on, is the world any closer to the aspirations of that Declaration? Are the rights of all human beings – all races, religions and genders – better protected than they were when the Declaration was first issued?

Great strides have certainly been made, and as leader of the British Jewish community I am so proud of the contribution that Jews have made to human rights. But we cannot be complacent.

As the storms of populism and division swirl around the world, minorities are under threat again from extremists and far-right regimes, human beings are trafficked as commodities and women’s rights are curtailed.

So let us celebrate the 70th anniversary, but let us also be vigilant, heeding the warning signs and committing ourselves once again to protecting the human rights of all.


René Cassin UDHR 70th anniversary event – Jewish Human Rights Heroes

Jewish Museum, Monday 10 December 2018

Anniversary reading: