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Human rights: Mgr. Hoogenboom (COMECE), “not conceded by governments, but derive from dignity of each person”

(Brussels) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has “lasting, legal and political significance for the promotion and protection of human rights, including on the European continent”, Mgr. Theodorus Hoogenboom, President of the Legal Affairs Commission of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and Auxiliary Bishop of Utrecht, wrote in a statement today. The declaration “literally” defines “what shared responsibility means with regard to fundamental human rights” and how “States receive legitimacy from their capacity to serve and protect their people and their fundamental human rights”. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, adopted in 2000 and later integrated into the Treaty of Lisbon, can “be seen as a reaffirmation of the universal principles of the Declaration in the European context”. At a time when core principles are “questioned, if not openly attacked”, the 70th anniversary provides an opportunity to “encourage a rediscovery, including at the EU level, of a global reference framework grounded on the concept of fundamental human rights being universal, inviolable, inalienable, indivisible, interdependent, interrelated and non-hierarchical”. Indeed, placing human rights in a hierarchy “endangers the entire architecture”, Mgr. Hoogenboom wrote. Moreover, human rights are not conceded by governments, “but derive from the inherent human dignity of each person” and are their transposition “in legally binding obligations for public authorities”.

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