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It’s time to return to the original principles.

Seventy-five years ago, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. The UDHR, which is the foundational modern text on human rights recognised that human rights are indivisible. In it, civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights all work together in a holistic way, so we are all protected, and can live lives of freedom and dignity.

As celebrations take place to mark the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, we are restating our belief that it is time to return to these original principles and ensure our ‘everyday’ rights – economic, social, and cultural rights – are effectively incorporated into UK domestic legislation.

An artificial division

In April, we participated in conference held at the University of Leicester to mark this important anniversary.

We spoke about the lasting importance of the UDHR and how economic, social, and cultural rights are a crucial, foundational part of the recognition of human rights.

However, 75 years on from the UDHR, there is an artificial division in the UK’s human rights legislative landscape. While the Human Rights Act brought many of our civil and political rights into domestic legislation in the UK, economic, social, and cultural rights do not enjoy the same treatment.

Honouring the legacy

Today, there is also clear evidence of serious violations of these everyday rights across the UK.

The dire state of these rights mean that finding a lasting solution is more important than ever. In this era of crises, the severity of the situation demands a human rights-based response.

Seventy-five years on from the UDHR, it’s time to return to its original principles. The UK Government should give domestic legal effect to our overlooked economic, social and cultural rights.

Background image by Maria Picassó i Piquer