The International Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Conference

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75: Rethinking and Constructing its Future Together

Breaking borders to build bridges – “Empowering voices” in Ghent, Belgium

L to R: Delegates from Kenya and Uganda and the panellists

On 8 December, the University of Ghent in Belgium hosted the conference “Rethinking and constructing its future together” to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Women in Exile, International Women Space and Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodriguez from Goethe University Frankfurt/M participated in a panel discussion on “Antagonist Struggles. The Politics of Human Rights and the Coloniality of Migration”, “Building Women’s Struggle in the Refugee Movement” and “Building Bridges to Break Borders”.

Bethi (Elizabeth Ngari) presented our work on empowering refugee women* to fight against the multiple human rights violations in refugee laws from a feminist perspective. She pointed out that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights needs to be rethought. All nations must be obliged to implement and enforce the rights in order to show humanity at all levels to all and not only to the privileged few. This means: Nations should not be allowed to give privileges to some people while others are excluded and criminalised. Pointing to basic examples/arguments on freedom of movement, right to housing and justice, (these are clearly defined in the Universal Declaration)” but when it comes to practice for asylum seekers it is discriminatory and racist.

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