Human Rights

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Human RightsThe human rights framework, so eloquently given shape by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, marks a milestone in humanity's collective efforts to build a more just and peaceful world. Yet widespread discrimination, oppression and society’s failures to uphold international law, result in the suffering of millions and thwart the advancement of humanity.

The Baha’i International Community believes that human rights achieve their highest expression when understood in the context of human relationships—within the family, the community, the nations and among the community of nations. Viewed through this lens, human rights are a vehicle for all to realize their inherent potential and to ensure the same for others.

“...every organized community...enlisted under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh should feel it to be its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it.”

—Consultation and the Protection of Diversity

A focus on the rights of minorities

Guided by these convictions, the promotion and protection of human rights has been a pillar of our engagement with the UN. Specifically, we have focused on the promotion on the rights of minorities, on the eradication of racism and incitement to hatred, on the rights of girls and women, and on the right of freedom of religion or belief. Among the questions we are exploring with others: How does the fulfilment of minority rights benefit all of humanity? How is the right to freely explore the beliefs of others best manifested in religious communities?

Strengthening human rights machinery

Throughout the last 70 years, our Office has worked with NGOs and collaborated with the UN in an effort to strengthen the mechanisms by which the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can find full expression. We participate actively in meetings of the Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review. Our representatives engage regularly with the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others, and play an active role in related NGO committees.