The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) joins the international community in observing the ‘International Human Rights Day 2017’, which serves as a reminder to all countries, big and small, to evaluate and uphold their human rights obligations and commitments at all levels. While applauding the ongoing progress in the normative frameworks for developing human rights, IPHRC expressed concerns over the deteriorating situation of human rights worldwide in the context of increased conflicts, rising incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence manifested in particular against Muslims and Islam as well as the treatment of migrants, refugees, minorities and other vulnerable groups. It, accordingly, called upon all States to uphold their obligations to promoting and protecting human rights as a matter of top priority for all peoples under all circumstances.
This year’s Human Rights Day is celebrated under the theme: “Stand Up For Human Rights”, and kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
While reflecting on the human rights situation in 2017, IPHRC noted with deep concern the gross human rights violations in many regions including the worsening human rights situation faced by the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which has been categorized as “Text book example of ethnic cleansing” and “Apartheid”; human rights situation faced by Muslims in the Central African Republic; and the continued suffering of Palestinian people under the worst occupation regime, which has crippled the socio-economic and cultural life of innocent civilians. In addition, the acts of incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of one’s race or religion in particular Islamophobia as well as sufferings of refugees and migrants, across the world, continue to rise in a very worrying manner, posing a real danger to the values of multiculturalism in modern societies.
IPHRC reminded the International community that these tremendous challenges, which undermine basic human rights and create complicated political and socio-economic realities must be faced with cooperation, partnership and dialogue among all stakeholders with full respect for the human rights and human dignity of all peoples from all nations. It called upon the UN Member States to use their policies, relations, and development aid more effectively, to promote human rights and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. IPHRC also called upon all OIC Member States to strengthen their universal commitment to the absolutely vital work of prevention of violations and protection of human rights for all. Furthermore, the IPHRC urged Member States to adopt innovative, rights-based approaches to address various economic, social and cultural challenges and to work together to build human rights friendly societies where disputes can be resolved peacefully through impartial and effective institutions as well as people's fundamental rights including the right to development are guaranteed and respected.