Ambassador Satterfield’s Statement on International Human Rights Day

December 10, 2020

Today, the United States Mission to Turkey commemorates International Human Rights Day and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The Declaration states that all individuals are born with inalienable rights, including freedoms of thought, religion or belief, expression, peaceful assembly, and association. This year, as the world faces the challenge of a global pandemic, we take the opportunity to reaffirm the importance of human rights in our shared recovery and reflect on the work all nations must still do to uphold the tenets enshrined in the Declaration.

Here in Ankara and around the world, the United States recognizes the tireless work of those who promote fundamental freedoms, often at great personal risk. In my meetings with women’s rights activists, members of the LGBTI community, representatives of religious and ethnic minorities, and other civil society activists, I am consistently reminded of our shared commitment to the protection of human rights in Turkey and globally.

Despite the challenges the pandemic presents, the U.S. Mission has marked International Human Rights Day through a robust program of engagements. I am pleased to confirm that I have nominated Canan Güllü for the 2021 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage award. We also held a virtual meeting with LGBTI activists and supported a virtual presentation on disability rights among our other activities to observe this day.

The United States remains committed to advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms globally. We will continue to engage on these issues and make clear our ongoing concerns with the government of Turkey and Turkish civil society.