World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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Human rights

This project accompanies churches in critical situations in their efforts to defend human rights and dignity, overcome impunity, achieve accountability and build just and peaceful societies.
Human rights

Banner at a rallye involving representatives of the WCC and other civil society organizations

Human rights to enhance human dignity

The WCC works to defend human dignity by addressing human rights from an ethical and theological perspective. It responds to requests from churches to support their work when human dignity is threatened. This project attempts to accompany churches and strengthen their advocacy work for human rights. This requires an holistic approach where civil and political rights, economic, cultural and social rights are addressed in an integrated way.

Further development of the inter-religious dimension of rights and dignity; a focus on victims' and minority rights, impunity, and religious freedom; and providing the churches with a space in which they can discuss the relationship between justice, human rights and human dignity are project priorities. The project will work closely with another WCC project, the Global platform on theological reflection and analysis, on a study on justice and rights.

The WCC participates in the three annual sessions of the new UN Human Rights Council (HRC), presenting written and oral submissions on religious freedom and intolerance, and on socioeconomic and cultural rights relating to migration, racism and xenophobia.

In addition, the WCC enables victims of human rights abuses from the South to gain access to special mechanisms within the office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (HCHR), and to provide oral testimony as well as to get acquainted with the new HRC. Cooperation with other ecumenical actors, exchanging information and arranging regular meetings during the HRC sessions are part of this effort to build and strengthen the capacity of the churches to ensure respect for the full range of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights.

Related Events

Hearing on Racism, Discrimination, Afrophobia and Xenophobia

Hearing on Racism, Discrimination, Afrophobia and Xenophobia

25 September 2017 Geneva, Switzerland / online

The "Hearing on Racism, Discrimination, Afrophobia and Xenophobia: The experience of people of African descent in the USA" is organized by the World Council of Churches, together with the National Council of The Churches of Christ in the USA. It will be an opportunity to learn about the racial discrimination, xenophobia and afrophobia that people of African descent are experiencing in the USA, and acknowledge and reaffirm the role of faith communities as agents of transformative justice in the face of racial injustice.

Related News

In Argentina, stirring journey for human rights continues

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"Since 1983 Argentina is enjoying the longest period of democracy in our history – it is a great achievement and that is why we need to take care of it." Pride in the peaceful change from military dictatorship to democracy 35 years ago and concern over recent developments in her country was the message that Estela Barnes de Carlotto brought with her to a meeting in Geneva reinvigorating the friendship between the WCC and the Association of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, of which she is the president.

Women’s fellowship conference in Nigeria to highlight “Thursdays in Black”

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Gender-based violence is affliction for church and society, says WCC’s Phiri

Gender-based violence is affliction for church and society, says WCC’s Phiri

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