While recalling the sprawling conflicts and disasters in 2016 and the resulting massive violations of human rights of the affected populations, the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) expressed grave concern on the overall deteriorating state of human rights in the world and called upon all stakeholders in the international community to uphold their human rights commitments and obligations as well as to increase their efforts to ensure protection and promotion of all human rights without discrimination under all circumstances.
IPHRC welcomed this year’s Human Rights Day theme: “Stand Up For Someone’s Rights Today,” but regretted that there seems little to celebrate on this account as hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings suffered and continue to suffer various types of human rights violations including the most fundamental ones such as right to life, liberty, personal security and other forms of discrimination. Some of the most glaring examples of continuing conflicts are in Palestine, Syria and Myanmar. In addition to the straggling conflicts and resultant refugee crisis in 2016, the year also witnessed an unfortunate increase in some of the most hideous forms of discrimination based on one’s race, religion, origin and ethnicity. Under the garb of freedom of expression many ultra-right wing political parties used hate speech to demonize and promoted discrimination against minorities, migrants and refugees in their countries.
IPHRC strongly condemned these practices and reiterated that while open and frank discussion of ideas and opinions form part of the freedom of expression, it must be used with responsibility without discriminating others’ human rights. To that end, IPHRC recalled the responsibility of political leadership and Media in promoting tolerance, non-discrimination and pluralistic societies that promote peaceful coexistence within and among Member States. Acknowledging the ongoing economic and financial problems faced by many countries, IPHRC urged the international community to address these challenges through cooperation, partnership and dialogue among all stakeholders with full respect for the human rights and human dignity of all peoples from all nations.
Referring to the positive developments, the Commission welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the wider celebration of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development. Recalling its own Abu Dhabi Declaration on the Right to Development, IPHRC urged Member States to take practical and concrete measures for investing in human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights to achieve the SDGs. The Commission affirmed that such investment is not only an obligation of Member States but is also in the best interest of each country and humanity, as a whole. IPHRC also called upon all OIC Member States to adopt innovative, human rights-based approaches to challenges, including economic, social and cultural rights, and work together to build societies in which disputes can be peacefully resolved by impartial and effective institutions, and where people's right to development and other fundamental rights are respected.