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Press Releases 2010

International Human Rights Day: U.S. Embassy Brings Together Civil Society Leaders and Human Rights Activists

December 11, 2010 | Kabul

To honor International Human Rights Day, U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry hosted 20 prominent human rights activists and community leaders at the Embassy today for an informal discussion about the role of civil society in promoting and sustaining human rights and the challenges in Afghanistan.

Ambassador Eikenberry stated, "The rights of individuals are very easily undermined if the community does not remain vigilant.  We have achieved much together in the past nine years, but it can easily be lost if no one speaks up.  The threats are always there - too frequently we see instances of violence against women, attacks on girls' schools, aid workers murdered, night letters and intimidation to prevent people from going to work, pursuing an education and supporting their families.  We all have a responsibility to stand up against those who would deprive others of their human rights."

The Ambassador thanked the participants for their continued efforts to encourage greater respect for human rights, the rights of women to control their own lives, the protection of minority groups, and the rights of citizens to have a voice in their government.

Human Rights Day was first recognized in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  More than 60 years later, the Declaration reflects the world's commitment to the idea that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

To read the Ambassador's remarks, please visit:  http://kabul.usembassy.gov

Secretary of State Clinton's Human Rights Day Statement: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/152623.htm

President Obama's Proclamation on Human Rights Day:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/10/presidential-proclamation-human-rights-day-bill-rights-day-and-human-rig