UN representative calls on governments to implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and end “once and for all arbitrary detentions”.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on all governments of the world to grant amnesty, pardon or release “all persons detained for exercising their rights”.

The group includes environmental defenders and activists, as well as those who denounce discrimination and corruption, journalists imprisoned for doing their work and human rights defenders.

Volker Türk made his call on Wednesday 4 January 2023, the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948.

“As I celebrated the beginning of this new year with my family, my thoughts turned to those whose loved ones languish in detention centres, imprisoned for exercising their human rights,” he said.

He called on those in power to take “the decision to start this year moving in the direction of the vision of the Universal Declaration: towards a world of free and equal people, with dignity and rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a historic document that first set out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

Throughout 2023, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will conduct a campaign that will showcase the importance and continuing relevance of the Universal Declaration.

Activities and advocacy will revolve around three axes: promoting universality and indivisibility, looking to the future, and sustaining the human rights ecosystem.