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Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip
Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

First published:
7 December 2023
Last updated:

Today, we will mark 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in Wales at our commemorative event at the Temple of Peace, Cardiff.

On 10 December 1948, 50 UN States stood united in their adoption of the Universal Declaration. This important commitment established fundamental rights and freedoms for all into international law, including the right to equal justice, equal opportunity and equal dignity for all. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the bedrock of all international human rights treaties and the European Convention on Human Rights that we know and value today. 

Human rights are written into the DNA of the Welsh Government – the Government of Wales Act 2006 makes clear that Welsh Ministers must not do anything which is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

This year has seen human rights in the headlines – the UK Government’s Bill of Rights Bill was thankfully discontinued in the summer, and more recently, the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the UK Government’s Rwanda Plan is unlawful and incompatible with human rights.

In Wales, we are on a different trajectory. We continue to put human rights for everyone at the heart of the work we do. We continue in our efforts to be a Nation of Sanctuary in the work we do to welcome those fleeing persecution, war or human rights violations.

As we celebrate human rights, we reflect on how we must not take them for granted. Our work to support sanctuary seekers demonstrates what can go wrong where a strong human rights framework is not in place. Conflicts around the world demonstrate why we should cherish the human rights framework we have and make clear that human rights are for everyone.  

We promote human rights through the delivery of a wide range of policies and plans, including our Anti-racist Wales Action Plan, our LGBTQ+ Plan and the work of our Disability Taskforce. Human rights are implicit in the actions we are taking.

On this special 75th anniversary we re-declare our commitment to equality and human rights for Wales and recognise the VAWDASV Strategy links to the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 days of activism finishing on Human Rights Day.