To mark Holocaust Memorial Day1 on Sunday 27 January 2019, Mia Hasenson-Gross, Director of Jewish human rights charity René Cassin2, said today:
On Holocaust Memorial Day, as we shelter from this wintry weather in the warmth and security of our homes, we remember those who do not share our good fortune. The day’s theme – ‘Torn from Home’ – prompts us to reflect on the plight of those who, driven out by persecution and genocide, are struggling to find the comfort and safety that we take for granted.
Sixty years ago Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that human rights begin “In small places, close to home”. Roosevelt worked with our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin3, on crafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights4 as a response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Human rights are universal, global, she said, but we must work to uphold them close to home – in the streets where we live, work, shop and study.
For many of our neighbours the word ‘home’ rings hollow. For the trafficked woman enslaved in a forced marriage or domestic servitude. For the refugee held in one of our immigration detention centres. For Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families denied the most basic public provision.
In 2019, René Cassin will be shining a light on these small places. We will be working with the Jewish community to ensure that the peace of mind that human rights bring is enjoyed by each and every one.
For further information or comment, contact Mia Hasenson-Gross, via firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3621 5464 or 07939 130 286
Notes for editors
- Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the victims of the Nazi Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. It is held annually on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. For more information see www.hmd.org.uk
- The charity René Cassin – ‘the Jewish voice for human rights’ – is named after the French-Jewish co-drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For more information visit www.renecassin.org
- Monsieur René Cassin (1887-1976) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. See www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1968/cassin-bio.html
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights – adopted by the UN General Assembly, Paris, 9-10 December 1948. See www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of René Cassin, on Thursday 24 January, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/