International Human Rights Day 2015

Brussels, December 10, 2015

EFPA Press release on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2015

On this day -December 10 Human Rights Day- the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations EFPA encourages all psychologists and their associations, to commemorate together with the United Nations, the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights and to act in future years in accordance with the principles of the Bill of Human Rights. The International Bill of Human Rights sets out the inalienability and inherence of the fundamental rights to all global citizens.

The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, together with the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights, both adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.

Human Rights can be immense inspiration for psychologists and they also provide a normative standard, in line with the ethical principles in the EFPA Model Code. In these days extreme human rights violations are happening next to European borders. People have to flee from traumatic situations, leaving their houses, friends and their jobs, looking for safe havens in Europe. Psychologists as a profession can be of great help to people enabling them to live under the umbrella of human rights, to re-find their identity and dignity, to welcome them and to find their place in our societies.


More concretely psychologists and their associations can:

-        alleviate the psychological pain that the refugees may feel

-        find ways to help strengthen their resilience

-        stand up for human rights and speak out when they are violated

-        support the volunteers working with refugees

-        give special attention to vulnerable groups like children and women

-        make absolutely clear to their clients (by interpreters) that privacy is a fundamental right and that psychologists are bound to keep to this

-        help make policies to prevent radicalization, in all groups and in all forms

-        stand up against discrimination in words as well in deeds, institutional as well on a daily base

Psychologists can and should be the mediators between human rights, persons and policy makers in order for people to be able to enjoy their fundamental rights.

To promote and raise awareness of the 50th anniversary of the two Covenants, the UN Human Rights Office is launching on Human Rights Day 'Our rights. Our freedoms. Always', a year long campaign to shine a light on the inalienable and inherent rights of citizens.


For further questions, please contact the EFPA Board Human Rights:


Links and References:

European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations EFPA


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