PRESS RELEASE

Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov:

Statement on Human Rights Day

VIENNA, 10 December - This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights to which everyone is inherently entitled as a human being.

If we are to stand up for equality, justice and human dignity for all, we must also stop those who would rob people of their rights, and who threaten peace and sustainable development - human traffickers and migrant smugglers who treat human beings as commodities; organized criminal groups trafficking deadly drugs and weapons; terrorists who kill indiscriminately and enslave women, men and children.

At the same time, responses to these threats and violations must themselves respect human rights and the rule of law. Crime prevention and criminal justice systems must be fair and humane if they are to effectively address the challenges of drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption in line with international commitments and law.

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the international drug control conventions, the global counter-terrorism instruments and the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice represent an essential framework to tackle threats, stop violence, ensure access to justice, promote health and sustainable development, and make the world safer.

On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reaffirm our commitment to advancing justice and the rule of law. Working together, we can promote rights-based and gender-responsive action to prevent violations, protect victims and leave no one behind.

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For further information, please contact:

Sonya Yee
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee[at]un.org