A message from the Kurdish President for Human Rights Day
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 was a significant step on the part of the international community towards establishing a framework for defining and guaranteeing the basic human rights so frequently violated due to war and dictatorship. It is unfortunate that sixty five years on from this historical day, human rights violations continue in our region and others around the world. Despite the fall of the dictatorship, the human rights situation in Iraq has worsened and the lives of Iraq’s citizens, women and children are under threat. Insurgency, tribal extremism and corruption are major threats to human rights and to the dignity and lives of the citizens of Iraq.
Over the past few years, the Kurdistan Region has made considerable progress in respecting human rights, and the individual and civil rights of its people, but it has still to reach a satisfactory level. There are still violations, so it is important that human rights protection is developed further in the Kurdistan Region. Our nation has been a victim of human rights violations, so human rights must be the primary objective of all governmental and civil activity in our country. This should be reflected, too, in our public, individual and family lives.
For the purpose of preventing human rights violations in Kurdistan, civil society and the media have to work openly and more responsibly. I hope that respecting human values and rights soon becomes the norm in our country and in all our actions, and that it becomes a deep-rooted culture. Massoud Barzani President of the Kurdistan Region December 10, 2013