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Home » Celebrating Human Rights Day: Message from our Director

Celebrating Human Rights Day: Message from our Director

Photo by Daniella van Bergen

Today marks 72 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. Every year on 10 December, the International Human Rights Day, we reflect on what has been achieved, on everyone who has committed themselves, with all their stories. Much has been achieved in the recent decades and we have seen hundreds of examples of small steps forward. Yet, there is also a lot of pressure on human rights. Covid-19 and the measures that have been taken worldwide as a result of the pandemic, make this clearly visible and show that human rights are further threatened.

Justice & Peace supports people around the world who contribute to the respect and implementation of human rights. We are convinced that it is important that as many people as possible, far away and in the Netherlands, have a voice and a role in the design and implementation of our initiatives. That is exactly why we share the stories of some of these people in this newsletter.

The story of Justice & Peace is that we support these exceptional and brave people, Change Makers who continue to speak out for a more inclusive and just world. Our story is about the Welcome Groups and refugees who are building a ‘Samen Hier’ (Together Here) movement for a welcoming society. And our story is about the many international human rights defenders who come to take a breath and find support and protection in a growing number of Shelter Cities in the Netherlands and beyond.

The stories of all these Change Makers show that change is really possible. On behalf of all of us from Justice & Peace, I would like to say to all the readers: thank you for your support over the years and the support we may still receive, it is through you that these stories of positive change really come to life!

Sebastian van der Zwaan,
Director of Justice and Peace

Photo by Daniella van Bergen