The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other human rights instruments are the cornerstone documents of Pax Christi International’s work in the field of human rights. These human rights instruments and their covenants are based on a respect for human dignity and non-discrimination. One aim of Pax Christi International is to make the human rights treaties universally binding – and at the same time strengthen their effective implementation.

 

The sphere of human rights

One can take up the cause of human rights in many ways. Whether it is working for the rights of children, denouncing kidnappings, or supporting international justice institutions, the very base of human rights and what makes them so compelling is their universal nature.

Pax Christi is proud to be part of the world NGO community and in solidarity with individuals everywhere who have dedicated themselves to the protection and promotion of human rights. Although Pax Christi is part of a larger family of organisations who work on this issue, it attempts to bring the unique Christian, ecumenical, and inter-religious spiritual values and ethics of its members into its actions, advocacy, and awareness-raising campaigns.

 

Pax Christi in the field of human rights

Work in this area involves standing against laws and actions which contravene basic human rights, such as the death penalty and mandatory military service. In this arena, Pax Christi’s work revolves around advocating and raising awareness, with the ultimate goal of abolishing these practices.

Working for human rights often involves defending the rights of those who stand in the minority or outside the circle of traditional power. Indigenous people robbed of their land, women treated as second class citizens, children abducted into military service and worse, people discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity, and people subjected to cruel and inhumane practices of torture are just some examples of people that Pax Christi member organisations around the world endeavour to defend through direct support, advocacy, solidarity and prayers.

Finally, working in the field of human rights demands that we promote human rights work and values. Human rights are not something which we can merely receive passively; rather, they are something which must be taken up and practiced. To encourage this stance amongst people in the world, Pax Christi member organisations carry out activities promoting awareness of human rights in their own communities.