On 10 December, International Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world. This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations and representing the first step in establishing a comprehensive international framework for the protection of human rights.

In commemoration of this event the International Inter-religious Conference ‘Faith in Human Rights’ is taking place today at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

At the conference religious leaders representing the world religions and spiritual traditions will sign the 2008 Faith in Human Rights Statement.

The conference is an initiative of the Municipality of The Hague, supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by Justitia et Pax Netherlands, the Dutch Catholic human rights organization.

Purpose of the conference is to provide a strong moral voice against violence and injustice. With their signature the representatives of the world’s largest religious traditions jointly pronounce and confirm that religion defends the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person. They declare their commitment to strengthen human rights and fundamental freedoms, countering accusations that religion causes violations of human rights.

The Statement intends to stimulate human rights awareness within religious communities and may serve to encourage a process of joint religious responsibility and commitment to uphold human rights.

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