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Former Trinity Master Amartya Sen contributes to human rights report

Professor Amartya Sen has contributed to a major report calling for the renewal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the 21st century.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st Century is the work of the Global Citizenship Commission, which was convened by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to re-examine the landmark document nearly 70 years after it was established.

The report will be presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 18 April 2016. The recommendations include the establishment of a World Human Rights Court, an International Convention on Refugees and Migrants, and an International Children’s Court.

Professor Sen, an alumnus of the College and Master of Trinity, 1998-2004, was among 27 members of the Commission, which included Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, Anthony Appiah; Director General Emeritus of the International Atomic Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei; the first Education Minister of Mozambique, Graça Machel; child rights campaigner, Kailash Satyarthi; and Master of Magdalene College and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Under the auspices of New York University, the Commission re-examined the spirit, principles, functioning, and legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in order to recommend ways of renewing it for the political and social landscape of the 21st century.

Mr Brown said:

Since 1948, the Universal Human Rights Declaration has stood as beacon and standard for a better world. Yet at a time of enormous global change, a refugee crisis bigger than that which accompanied the ending of the Second World War, the increasing twin threats of terrorism and extremism, and the appalling abuse and suffering of women and children in conflict and other situations, we need new international solutions to fit the new global landscape.

We identify specific rights requiring more emphasis than they received in the Declaration, if they were acknowledged at all.  As one might expect, the rights of women, children, the disabled, and the LGBT community require further attention and a deepened global commitment.

The report is published by Open Book Publishers and is both free to read and download online. The leading Open Access book publisher in the UK, Open Book Publishers was established by Trinity Fellow Dr Rupert Gatti.

One of the reasons they came to us was because of open access – the Commission wanted people all over the world to be able to read it and engage with it.

By choosing to publish with us under a Creative Commons ‘Attribution Only’ Licence (CC BY) the Commission ensures not only that the work can be freely read by anybody with access to the internet, but also that it is free for others to reuse, translate and redistribute in new formats so as to reach the broadest possible audience worldwide.

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