Friday, 19 July 2013

Strengthening Human Rights Movements Globally

The Vienna + 20 Action Week took place in Vienna from June 24 to 28th as an anniversary of the 1993 Second World Conference on Human Rights. The main focus of the variety of events was on strengthening the human rights movement on a universal scale.

The CSO (Civil Society Organizations) “Human Rights in Crisis” conference was organized on June 25 and 26th within the framework of the Action Week. Some of the key organizers were FIAN, the Centre for Economic and Social Rights and Frauen Solidarit├Ąt. The conference happened with the support of the European Commission and the European Parliament, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, the Austrian Development Cooperation, ETOs for Human Rights and others.

The motto of the international forum was All Human Rights for All, reclaiming the supremacy of the human rights in all spheres – corporate, governmental, political, economic, cultural, personal. The Declaration adopted on 26th of June was passed after broad discussions held in English and Spanish between the changing panels and the floor - both including politicians, academic figures, activists, media people and NGO representatives. Climate change, food producers worldwide getting poorer and poorer, the gradual loss of traditional livelihoods, the globalization and the labour market were the key words that were referred to in every discussion.
Much attention seemed to circle around the increasing gap between multinational companies’ capital and the ordinary people, as well as the impact of the large companies on local governments. Voices were heard saying that the spheres gained by human rights upholders over the years were now shrinking as the world witnessed too many incidents of human rights activists losing their lives for defending their cause.

Discussions being intense did not prevent participants from demonstrating friendliness, solidarity
and understanding for different points of view or approaches.

In the photo: participants of the conference “Human Rights in Crisis”.

Information provided by Irina Veleva, Bulgaria, Gender Education, Research and Technologies (GERT) Foundation Contact :  and

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