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December 09, 2019

Statement of Judy Perry Martinez, ABA president Re: International Human Rights Day

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2019 – The American Bar Association joins the world Tuesday in recognizing International Human Rights Day. The day provides an opportunity to commemorate – and renew our commitment to – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human rights and equality are indispensable to human dignity but must be fought for at times.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which sparked the modern LGBTQ equality movement that in recent years has won major gains in the United States. Through the grit and determination of individuals who care about equality and dignity asserting their rights in America’s robust democratic institutions, struggles became victories. 

Several younger democracies are fighting to maintain their footing as their leaders weaken their judiciaries, imprison critical journalists or condemn minority populations — placing the dignity of all in peril. 

The ABA continues to fight every day for diverse and vulnerable populations in America and around the world, advocate for a free press, speak out on behalf of an independent judiciary and advance the rule of law. We work on behalf of human rights defenders, the homeless, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and survivors of domestic and sexual violence to ensure due process and a fair trial for all.

On this International Human Rights Day, the ABA calls on members of the legal profession around the world to renew their commitment to the rights, equality and dignity of all.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.