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In our infinitely diverse world, there are some things we all share: We all want to have our basic needs met, to have equal opportunities to succeed, and to lead lives free of violence and repression.

On December 10, 1948, representatives of 48 countries gathered in Paris, France, to enshrine these fundamental human rights in a landmark proclamation that guides international laws and policies up until today: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Unfortunately, 70 years since the UDHR’s adoption, not everyone enjoys the protections and privileges described within it—and in many places, powerful actors are working to undermine these rights.

But there are also people pushing back.

Across the globe, activists are speaking out against injustice, rallying communities to raise their voices with them, and building peaceful movements for change. These frontline defenders often face threats and attacks as a result of their work. Yet they remain steadfast in their mission.

This photo essay honors human rights defenders worldwide as they seek to ensure that all people, no matter who they are or where they are from, can exercise their fundamental human rights. Released on the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UDHR, it features the stories of grassroots activists supported by the Fund for Global Human Rights—ordinary people pushing to make the tenets of the declaration a reality for all.

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