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Pocan and Lowenthal Introduce Legislation Honoring 71st Anniversary of Human Rights Day and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Jul 25, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (July 25, 2019)  U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today led 27 of their House colleagues to introduce a House Resolution honoring the 71st Anniversary of Human Rights Day and the 1948 ratification by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

“In the past 71 years, we’ve seen significant improvements in the protection of human rights, equality, and justice around the globe, however, it is clear there is still significant work to do. The rights of women, LGBTQ individuals, and minority communities are still under threat around the world,” Pocan said. “This resolution reiterates the U.S. commitment to pursuing consistent and principled human rights policies when engaging with all foreign countries. The importance of this resolution is not lost as the Trump Administration forms a Commission on Unalienable Rights in an attempt to make an end run around human rights experts and established State Department structures.”

“Seventy-one years ago, our nation signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),” Lowenthal said. “Today, more than ever, it is critical that the promotion of respect for human rights as embodied in the declaration remain a key component of our country’s foreign policy. Our nation was founded on the basic principles of life, freedom, and humanity that are enshrined in the UDHR. Congress, the Trump Administration and the world, must recognize that those who are denied basic human rights, such as the freedoms of speech, religion, and political expression, are also denied basic human respect and dignity. We must continue to advocate and fight for the universal protection of human rights.”

Championed by First Lady and U.N Ambassador Eleanor Roosevelt, and adopted by the United Nations in 1948, the UDHR represents the first comprehensive international agreement about the specific rights and freedoms of all human beings. Today, the UDHR is the world’s most translated document, with over 416 different translations.

Since 1948, the UDHR has been the foundational document for enumerable international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and is a key component of the International Bill of Human Rights which went into effect in 1976.

Pocan and Lowenthal’s legislation currently has the support of 27 other House Members.

To read the full text of the House resolution, please click here.