By Vatican News
December 10th is Human Rights Day. It commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark the occasion, Caritas Europa is calling on the new European Commission to take action in ensuring and protecting the human rights and dignity of all.
European Union founding values
Human rights, such as freedom and equality, including in the areas of agriculture, trade, taxation, and migration, as well as security and development policies, are part of the EU’s founding values. Ensuring and protecting these rights are among the commitments made by the European Union and its Members States.
Caritas Europa statement
According to Caritas Europa, the current EU agenda puts the Union’s own economic and security interests first, “to the neglect of poverty eradication, fighting inequalities, and creating safe and legal pathways for migration, among others”.
Caritas Europa is a Catholic network present in 46 countries across Europe that works with people of all faiths to end poverty and to promote the dignity of all people.
In a statement published to mark Human Rights Day this year, Caritas Europa calls on the European Union to reverse EU policies “that have a negative impact on sustainable development in the Global South, and to ensure that all future policies commit to leaving no one behind”.
Assessing risks to the world’s poor
The Caritas Europa statement confirms how the European Union, as the most important donor of development aid, plays an essential role in the fight against hunger. “In this regard, the EU should consider the regulation of biofuels, land tenure and trade policies from a global point of view by assessing all the consequences and risks they could bring to the poorest in the world”, reads the statement.
Putting integral human development first
Caritas Europa suggests that EU development aid emphasize “integral human development over economic growth, and the human dignity and human rights of every person over preventing migration to Europe. All human beings should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in dignity”, it concludes.