This year, the COVID-19 pandemic leaves a lasting mark on society worldwide. It affected everyone but some people more than others. As we look ahead, on Human Rights Day, on 10 December, we need to make the new normal a better normal. In his video message, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty underlines the need to stand up for human rights to make 2021 a better year. This means ensuring we respect and take into account everybody's human rights.
To do this, he says we need make some demands.
We must demand governments and parliaments stand up for and protect our human rights. They should empower national human rights institutions and equality bodies to carry out their mandates fully.
Independent courts must deliver justice.
Businesses must respect rights as they go about their daily work.
And human rights groups, trade unions, the media, arts and faith communities, all need to play their part in promoting and protecting human rights.
10 December is Human Rights Day, it comes at the end of a very difficult period.
It's been absolutely awful for some people in our societies.
It's been challenging for everybody.
As we go into 2021 then, we have to make the new normal a better normal.
We have to make it one where everybody's human rights are respected and taken account of.
How do we do that meaningfully?
Well, we've got to make some demands.
We've got to demand governments that stand up for and protect our human rights.
It's got to be about parliaments that are brave voices on our behalf.
It's got to be courts, independent courts that deliver justice.
It's about national human rights institutions and equality bodies that carry out their mandates with all their vigour.
It's about businesses that face their own responsibilities for the respecting of human rights.
It's about civil society. It's about the human rights groups, the arts communities, the faith communities, the trade unions, the media, all playing their part in promoting human rights.
And of course, it's also about us.
It's about us standing up for the rights of everybody around us so that we can make 2021 a better year.