As we mark the beginning of the Global Human Rights week, I would like to highlight some of the tremendous multiple challenges evident in the present times. Human history is faced with trials such as the refugees and migration crisis in different parts of the world, gross human rights abuse, extreme poverty where millions of people around the world go to bed on an empty stomach, the north–south divide, lack of freedom of movement, lack of the right to participate, gross gender-based abuse and disrespect for basic rights to live in peace, to mention a few. As we commemorate this very important week on the International Voluntary Services Movement calendar, it is critical and crucial to reflect on the activities carried out during the course of the year and find out if we had left a positive footprint on improving life for the ordinary people oppressed by regimes and systems around the world.
As a network this week accords us a very rare opportunity to showcase our activities around the world. Our activities are in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as enshrined by the United Nations Charter. The basic human rights are inalienable and must be exercised without discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, language, colour, religion, nationality or economic situation, among others. In the course of the week, we will be able to put several initiatives from different parts around the world, that are actively promoting a culture of peace and put human rights in the limelight.
Having discussed some shortcomings, it is important to highlight some efforts made towards attaining the universal human rights as well as attaining a culture of peace. A lot of positive developments have been also accomplished in some countries around the world but a lot of people remain yoked under the chain’s oppressions. Thus, as International Voluntary Services movement with physical presence in all the corners of the world, we have a very important role to play. We are dedicated to our duty as well as continuing with the struggle until we attain a commendable level of universal human rights. Hence, the dire need for the International Voluntary Movement to remain vigilant and proactive in the field of peace and human rights.
As one of the leading global international voluntary services movement, with grassroots, community-based organisations across the entire world, we have a duty to take a leading role in the promotion of good human rights practices through our actions and work. It is also critical that we continue to sensitize our global members to remain resilient to the campaign for sound human rights approaches as well as employing multiple sectional approach in our work. As we mark this week, we should remain focused on the bigger picture of making peace and human rights a reality for all people across the world.