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INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: it’s a time to remember, but not a time to stop. The time is now!

On 10 December, the world turns its attention to celebrating International Human Rights Day. A historic date instituted in the post-war period by the UN as a result of the many grassroots uprisings and social organizations’ struggles for rights for all.

Social struggles for the right to land, freedom of movement, to vote, for civil, political and social rights, span the centuries.  And even with the Universal Declaration asserting and recognizing the rights of everyone, independent of social class, ethnicity, gender and nationality, and proclaiming respect for all diversity and difference, the struggle for fundamental rights is still present and necessary, especially when we see in our country that the State is the principal violator of rights. There are organized movements that continue, as they always have, to fight for dignified lives for people who live on the streets; for racial and gender equity; to defend the waters, forests and jungles; for the demarcation of the territories of indigenous peoples, fishermen and women and quilombolas; for food sovereignty; to preserve our future, for the lives of young black people; for religious liberty and respectful coexistence between different confessions of faith and religions.

Since 1973, CESE has established and renewed its roots, in tune with the strengthening of the rights of grassroots groups, particularly at this time, with the most impoverished so vulnerable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the face of so many setbacks and threats, today is not a day for celebration, but to redouble our attention so as not to lose what we have gained, drawing up the battle lines and not forgetting the profound rights violations we are experiencing at this challenging moment, with the rise of intolerance, of a discourse of hate, with the killings and criminalization of leaders, vigilantism, and restrictions to freedom of expression.

 

WE WILL NEVER FORGET:

– more than 1,000 days have passed since Marielle and Anderson were murdered and we still have no answer to the question: “who ordered Marielle’s murder?”

– that deforestation and fires in Brazil have hit record highs in recent years

– the progressive relaxation of the use of firearms in this country

– the deaths of young Ágatha, of Miguel, of the cousins Emily and Rebeca, of João Alberto: how many young people, children and black people will be killed as a result of structural racism?

– of the increase in violence against women and femicide during social isolation

– Brazil’s shameful first place ranking as the country in which the most transsexuals and transvestites are murdered

– religious intolerance, witnessed in the recording of one report of violence every 15 hours, principally against devotees of African-origin religions, such as Candomblé and Umbanda

– and we will not forget: the almost 180 thousand Brazilian men and women who have died as a result of COVID-19 and the approximately 6 million who have been infected.  The second wave is causing the mortality rate to rise again, weakening the Unified Health Service (Sistema Único de Saúde: SUS).

 

IT’S A TIME TO REMEMBER, BUT NOT A TIME TO STOP. THE TIME IS NOW! GO FORWARD MEN AND WOMEN FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE, FROM THE CITY, FROM THE WATERS, FROM THE FORESTS!

Address.: R. da Graça, 150. Graça, CEP: 40.150-055, Salvador-BA, Brasil.
Phone.: (71)2104-5457, Fax: (71)2104-5456, E-mail: cese@cese.org.br
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