December 10, International Human Rights Day, marks the 73rd anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. This year's theme is 'All Human, All Equal'.
Flanders’ foreign policy focuses on human rights. In the past year, Flanders provided financial support to various organizations that defend human rights. These include iSANS from Belarus, which supports political opponents of the Belarusian regime. Also the LGBTQI organization Mozaika from Latvia, which organized a conference on "human dignity" during Pride week and the LGBTQI organization "Love does not exclude" from Poland. Or the LGBTQI organization Badayaa from Egypt, which defends women's rights. And we again support the Council of Europe to fight violence against women, improve the safety of journalists and promote LGBTQI rights. We also provide financial assistance for the implementation of the UN Arms Trade Treaty and the OECD received support to carry out an innovative project on gender data. Grants were also awarded to the Advanced Human Rights Courses at the University of Pretoria and the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition at Stellenbosch University.
Recently, Minister-President Jambon decided to give a €200,000 grant to Nadia's Initiative to help the Yazidi population in Iraq rebuild their community after Islamic State's ethnic cleansing.
In total, in 2021, Flanders provided more than 700,000 euros in aid to promote human rights worldwide.
Read more about the concrete initiatives that have been supported in recent years.
In addition to financial support, Flanders raises - when necessary - the importance of human rights in international contacts. Human rights are also on the radar when Flanders takes positions in European and multilateral fora.
In the past year, Flanders contributed constructively to UN reports and dialogues for the Committee against the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee against Torture and the Universal Periodic Evaluation for the Human Rights Council. The UN's existing human rights mechanisms are strong tools to work towards a global improvement of human rights. Flanders also contributed to reporting for the European Social Charter within the Council of Europe. Furthermore, Flanders participated in a framework convention to make Artificial Intelligence systems human rights-proof.