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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 5, 1995
                       HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK, 1995
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                            A PROCLAMATION

More than 200 years ago, America's founders adopted the Bill of Rights to ensure the protection of our individual liberties. Enshrined in our Constitution are the fundamental guarantees to freedom of conscience, religion, expression, and association, as well as the rights to due process and a fair trial. Our Nation was formed on the principle that the protection and promotion of these rights are essential to a free and democratic society.

Peoples throughout the world look to the United States for leadership on human rights. In the aftermath of the Holocaust and the devastation of two world wars, our country led the international effort toward adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the nearly 50 years since December 10, 1948, this document has served as the standard for internationally accepted behavior by nations toward their citizens.

This year, our work to promote peace in areas of conflict and to support human rights, democracy, and the rule of law have continued to make a difference around the globe. Most recently, our efforts to foster a settlement to the terrible conflict in Bosnia resulted in an agreement that contains clear protections for human rights and humanitarian principles.

In Bosnia, and throughout the world, we have paid special attention to the most vulnerable victims of abuse -- women and children. At the Fourth World Conference on Women in September of this year, the First Lady underscored our commitment to defending the rights of women and families, and we have undertaken a range of initiatives to raise awareness of child exploitation, to oppose child labor, and to assist young victims of war.

We live in an era of great advances for freedom and democracy. Yet, sadly, it also remains a time of ongoing suffering and hardship in many countries. As a Nation long committed to promoting individual rights and human dignity, let us continue our efforts to ensure that people in all regions of the globe enjoy the same freedoms and basic human rights that have always made America great.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 10, 1995, as Human Rights Day, December 15, 1995, as Bill of Rights Day, and December 10 through December 16, 1995, as Human Rights Week. I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate these observances with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that demonstrate our national commitment to the Constitution and the promotion of human rights for all people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.


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