Standing Up for Human Rights in Myanmar
January , 2019

Myanmar joined the rest of the world in celebrating Human Rights Day and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the stand up 4 human rights Yangon event at the Goethe Villa on December 9. Observed across the world every year on December 10, Human Rights Day marks the day in 1948 when the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The milestone document drawn up and signed by representatives from the then 50 member states of the UN proclaims 30 rights and freedoms that every person is entitled to as a human being.

“The 70th Anniversary of the proclamation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document which rose out of the ashes of the Second World War and will have everlasting impact on mankind,” said Win Mra, Chairperson of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC). “Stand Up 4 Human Rights” is a global campaign launched by UN Human Rights to highlight what the Universal Declaration means for people in their everyday lives whilst reaffirming the importance of its enduring human rights principles and standards worldwide. The Yangon event was organised by Myanmar civil society organisations and human rights defenders, together with the UN and its agencies in Myanmar and the European Union in Myanmar.

MNHRC Chairperson Win Mra, UN Resident Coordinator Knut Ostby, EU Ambassador H.E. Kristian Schmidt and Ma Khin Lay, Triangle Women’s Support Group Director led the line-up of speakers that shared perspectives on what standing up for human rights means in Myanmar, in light of current domestic and international affairs. EU Ambassador H.E. Kristian Schmidt remarked, “We see human rights coming under pressure all around the world, reminding us that we can never take them for granted. We indeed need to redouble our efforts and “Stand up for Human Rights” every single day – in Myanmar, in Europe and everywhere else in this world.” Ma Khin Lay, Director of the Triangle Women’s Support Group said, “The celebration of the 70th anniversary of the UDHR provides everyone the perfect opportunity to reflect on how far Myanmar has gone in making true of the provisions contained in the declaration and to decide how we want to bring the human rights discourse forward in promoting and protecting human right for all in the country.”

Stand Up 4 Human Rights Yangon featured interactive information booths offering games, quizzes & prizes, virtual reality films, a literature corner for kids and live art performances to discover the rights and principles enshrined in the universal declaration; human rights talks where human rights defenders from across Myanmar tell their stories; children’s theatre, and live musical acts including performances by Myanmar rock bands side effect and the reasonabilists.