Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the Sunrise Initiative

BANGKOK (28 November 2018) - Dignitaries, representatives from the UN, international organisations, human rights defenders, civil society actors and university students came together to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) through a film screening and a panel discussion on migration and human rights.

The event was jointly organised by the United Nations Human Rights Regional Office for South-East Asia and the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangkok. The celebration themed 'Shine your light for the rights of people on the move' was the third instalment in the UN Human Rights global campaign to spotlight the centrality of rights to the daily lives of people everywhere through the Sunrise Initiative.

"[This] event features two leading roles: the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and each individual to which the Declaration offers its protection," said Mr Ivo Sieber, Ambassador of Switzerland to Thailand.

Hailing the contribution made by the UDHR, the Ambassador said that various conventions established a sophisticated set of instruments for the protection of human rights after the adoption of 30 articles of the Declaration.

“Welcoming the gathering, UN Human Rights Deputy Regional Representative Katia Chirizzi mentioned that "the 70th anniversary of the UDHR requires a reflection on its essential urgency and to push back against the haters and enemies of human rights".

Citing the first article of the UDHR, Ms Chirizzi highlighted that the topic of the event was extremely timely, both globally and in the region and that people’s rights do not fade when they are on the move, whether by choice or under force.

The three-hour long event featured the Swiss film “Non-Assistance,” which shows the dangerous journey of many refugees and migrants to Europe that often forces them to cross the Mediterranean Sea. A panel discussion followed to offer a reflection of the rights of people on the move both in South-East Asia and specifically in Thailand.

The panellists included Dr Sriprapha Petcharamesree, professor at the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP) at Mahidol University; Ms Sussi Prapakranant from the Asia Pacific Refugees Rights Network (APRRN); and Ms Budsayarat Kanchanadit from the Civil Society Empowerment Institute.


For media inquiries, please contact Jean Dinco (+66 22882604 / jean.dinco@un.org)

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  • The Regional Office for South-East Asia in Bangkok represents the High Commissioner for Human Rights within South East Asia. The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations and heads the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which spearheads the United Nations' human rights efforts.