Human Rights in the 21st Century

About the project

Human rights are a cornerstone of European integration and one of the world most important values, its democratic heritage and its conscience. Protection of human rights symbolises a beacon of hope, a call for action, setting a high standard by which we judge the width of our generosity, the depth of our compassion, and the breadth of our humanity.

When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted in 1948, the world was a very different place. Years of war had left the better part of continents in disarray, and the world was waking up to the unconscionable horrors of the Holocaust.

In 2018 world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the UDHR and 65 anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Both documents are today being challenged by changing political landscape, by rise of populist political systems and complex issues deriving out of technological changes, geostrategic interests and climate change.  Some of these concerns include rights to privacy and freedom of expression in the Internet age, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, migration patterns and the threat climate change poses to life, food and water.

As we are starting to understand, contemporary political cleavages are contra positioning some important values we live by: as for instance the right to (national) security against providing help and support to the international political and economic migrations;  protection of  freedom of speech against its abuses by new communication channels and “fake news” or gender equality against unequal practice towards women ranging from the cultural, political to the economic issues.

We should become aware that protection of human rights is a strive to balance global development and a specific ways of life.  In the same time values need to be carefully taken into consideration.  There is a much needed dialogue to debate our freedoms in the context of these central issues that global system needs to address.

Objective for the project is to search and provide a reasonable argumentations how contemporary political cleavages and technological change is effecting and/or contra positioning some important values we live by, try to search for  argumentation and ideas how to tackle these issues with turning to protection and defence of human rights and take into consideration argumentation for free and inclusive development across the continent and globally. With this approach we wish to improve argumentation frames for broader public and political decision makers to better understand the cleavages and conflicts in modern understanding of human rights and its political discontents.

This event is organised by the European Liberal Forum asbl with the support of Institute Novum.
Co-funded by the European Parliament. Neither the European Parliament nor the European Liberal Forum asbl are responsible for the content of this event or for any use that may be made of it.
The views expressed herein are those of the speaker(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the European Parliament and/ or the European Liberal Forum asbl.

Project partners