Tio mark Human Rights Day (December 10) this year, the United Nations chose to focus on inclusion and the right to participate in public life. The UN says this right is fundamental to a functioning democratic society.
This content was published on December 10, 2012 - 11:00
Thomas Kern was born in Switzerland in 1965. Trained as a photographer in Zürich, he started working as a photojournalist in 1989. He was a founder of the Swiss photographers agency Lookat Photos in 1990. Thomas Kern has won twice a World Press Award and has been awarded several Swiss national scholarships. His work has been widely exhibited and it is represented in various collections.
Each person should be able to choose those who represent them in all governance institutions, to stand for public office, and to vote on the fundamental questions that shape their individual and collective destinies.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, people have in recent years tackled their governments, not just in the Middle East and North Africa, but elsewhere as well, on issues covering fundamental civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights.
But the rights of many men, women and children continue to be trampled underfoot - tortured to death, raped, bombed, shelled, shot, forced from their homes, deprived of food, water, electricity and healthcare by their own governments or by armed groups, apparently intent on nothing more than keeping their grip on power.