What Divides Europe? Bridging Traditional Values and Fundamental Rights
13 Oct 2014 – 18 Oct 2014, near Borjomi, Georgia
Building Bridges Between Today’s Realities and Tomorrow’s Opportunities
UNITED is organising an international conference in Georgia. The concepts of fundamental rights and traditional values will be at the center of the discussion. In order to constructively create bridges between human rights and traditional values, we will explore traditional values on various levels and perspectives.
A variety of questions arise on how majority communities perceive minority communities, and how these minority communities address the same issues within their own community or towards other communities. The discussions will focus on opportunities for creating cross-community coalitions between NGOs based on a common framework of human rights and an understanding of society’s traditional values, as well as their impact on the daily life of minority communities. The path of human rights would enable participants to be UNITED and work hands in hands – developing together responses and advocacy actions towards shared challenges both at national and European levels.
Today more than ever before, discussing human rights and traditional values as well as the bridges between them became very relevant. From one side, universal human rights do not impose any cultural standard, but rather a legal standard of minimum protection necessary for human dignity. As a legal standard adopted through the United Nations, universal human rights represent the consensus of the international community, by stressing on the need concerning the promotion of human rights and human freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind. A better understanding of traditional values shared by all humanity and embodied in universal human rights instruments contributes to promoting and protecting human rights and human freedoms.
Nevertheless a misunderstanding and abuse of said traditional values has been the reason of averse treatment and multi-dimensional discrimination of many people, thus resulting in being in direct conflict with human rights and in many cases resulted in violations of said rights. Reluctantly in many national and regional realities the so-called protection of ‘traditional values’ became the pretext for hate, violent hate crimes, fear, and multi-dimensional discrimination on the base of ethnic, gender, religious, disability, towards migrants, and other grounds; moreover the institutionalisation of such discrimination and hate fosters more hate, violence, and fear, not only towards members of a minority community or migrants, but also towards their families, friends, and neighbours.
Therefore there is a consistent amount of misunderstanding, and it is time to dig deeper into understanding human rights and traditional values, and how they relate to each other.