Human rights landmark honoured

The granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt is to speak at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Anna (Anne) Eleanor Roosevelt will pay tribute to her grandmother, the political activist and former First Lady of the US who chaired the United Nations’ committee that drafted the Declaration.

The document articulated for the first time the fundamental human rights that all nations should protect. It is credited with influencing most national constitutions since 1948 and has been translated into more 500 languages.

Rights challenged

The talk is part of a major international conference, Renewing Rights in Times of Transition: 70 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will be held at the University on 7 and 8 September 2018.

Hosted by the University’s Global Justice Academy and Law School, more than 100 experts will consider the challenges that the Declaration has faced since its drafting in the aftermath of the Second World War.

They will also consider renewed threats to human rights through rises in populism and the retreat of democracy.

We are in a turbulent time of national and global political transition. This transition seems marked by a move away from building global values of equality and human dignity, to focus on national self-interest and the promotion of exclusion, violent conflict, and lack of belief in fact-finding.  There is a new global political marketplace where rights, truth, and values seem to have been an early casualty. Never has there been a more timely year to bring together the world’s human rights institutions to consider how to respond.

Professor Christine BellDirector of the Global Justice Academy

Global gathering

Ms Roosevelt’s closing address, titled ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’, will touch on these themes.

She has recently retired as the Chief Executive Officer for Goodwill of Northern New England, a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates jobs and delivers needed services for people with diverse challenges.

The event is the annual conference of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), one of the world’s largest human rights focused research networks.

Edinburgh Law School is thrilled to play host to the largest single gathering of human rights academics and advocates this year. I could not wish for a better programme to celebrate 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to drive discussions about how to push global values forward, rather than continue the regression that has marked recent political agendas. I am particularly delighted to introduce Anne Roosevelt to our wonderful city, the Law School and the AHRI network.

Dr Kasey McCall-SmithLecturer in Public International Law and chair of AHRI

Related links

AHRI Conference 2018

Study Law at Edinburgh

Global Justice Academy