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The Green Position Human Rights

Alliance 90/The Greens sees itself as the party of human rights. Human rights are the foundation of our politics. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most important reference point for everyone who champions the cause of human rights and whose work thus gives a credible voice to the principles enshrined in the Declaration.

More than 60 years after its adoption by the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is as relevant as ever. It embodies the hopes and aspirations of millions of people who wish to live in freedom, without fear, hardship and violence. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is based on the principle that human rights are universal and indivisible. Everyone has equal rights and human dignity. There is no ranking, and no conflict between civil and political rights on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights on the other.

For many people, however, the pledges set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have still not been honoured. Deprivation of rights, oppression, exploitation, war, hunger and devastation dominate the lives of millions of people around the world. Inter- and intra-state conflicts lead to expulsions, rape, death and destruction. The constant battle for survival and for access to food, water, education and health care is many people's daily reality. Climate change is already worsening global poverty by destroying livelihoods and forcing millions of people to flee their homes. In efforts to combat international terrorism, many states are showing a sometimes flagrant disregard for human rights. The European Union's policy of making its external borders impenetrable – a policy which has already claimed thousands of lives – contrasts starkly with the provisions of the Geneva Refugee Convention.

In Germany, too, there are deficits in the sphere of human rights. They include violence against minorities, discrimination because of membership of a particular social group, rising poverty, especially among children, obstacles to access to education, unequal pay for women and men, and the scandal of care provision for the elderly: violations and shortcomings occur in many different areas. In Germany, a different skin colour or religion, or a different sexual orientation, can result in people being subjected to harassment and even deadly violence. The same applies to the homeless and people with disabilities.

We Greens firmly believe that both home affairs and foreign policy must be based on a strong commitment to human rights. No one can make a persuasive case for a strong human rights commitment in their foreign policy unless they apply the same human rights standards to themselves, at home, that they apply abroad.