Roundtable Discussion: 75 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—Who Did We Leave Behind?

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In December 1948, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in response to the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity committed during World War II. Since then, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a beacon of hope and inspiration for people that are oppressed and people who want to help.

Although widely considered a success story, there are countries and regions in which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has failed. On July 30, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, chose as a theme for the 2023 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons—“reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind.” As we reach the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community should pause for a moment and reflect on who has been left behind and who has been robbed of universal rights with which each of us are born.

It is no secret that China, known for thousands of years as a center of wisdom and culture, the birthplace of Confucius and Lao Zi, has replaced traditions that served to elevate the very best of humankind with a communist system that has sought to destroy the goodness of the human spirit and has accumulated one of the most abominable human rights records in history. This is particularly evidenced by the practice of forced organ harvesting of living prisoners of conscience.

In a roundtable discussion, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting will reflect on the accomplishments of the Universal Declaration and will address the international community’s failure to effectively intervene in China’s 24-year-long persecution of Falun Gong and the practice of forced organ harvesting of its adherents.

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