United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein will end his term on September 1. The 54-year-old Jordanian diplomat denounces in an interview with Le Monde “the continued rise of authoritarianism, the continuation of populist rhetoric, lies, half-truths and deceits”. When asked about the situation of human rights today in the world, he answered: “The pressure on universal rights is obvious. Mechanisms and laws on human rights must be defended and promoted continuously. While progress is being made in some countries, such as the recent very encouraging openness to civil and political rights in Ethiopia, we see the terrible crimes perpetrated by violent extremist groups, we see the continued rise of authoritarianism, continuation of populist rhetoric, lies, half-truths and deceptions. We see the questioning of the universal nature of human rights. So it’s a struggle. The advance for human progress has always been a struggle. And I feel that the accumulation of crises has reached a point that makes it a pivotal problem.”
In a time where conflict is inevitable, where children are being separated from their parents, where human beings are fleeing war, persecution, where authoritarian leaders are still in power, where we’re in the middle of the biggest migratory crisis, human rights are essential. Sad reality is that they’re not respected while they’re universal and inherent to all. Not being too pessimistic and acknowledging some improvements, there is still a long way to go. Our voice matters. Keep fighting for our rights!