Caroline Cassin from René Cassin’s family imagines what he might say today.
“Since the age of 6, I have had my eyes focused on the Fatherland and justice in this world.
At 26 years old, on August 1, 1914, I threw myself into the Great War.
At 27, I received a machine gun fire at War; “I think I’m done”.
At 33 years old, I perceived the nature of the Nazi regime and understood the powerlessness of the League of Nations.
At 40, I boarded the Ettrick cruise liner with Raymon Aron and joined General de Gaulle in London.
At 80, I received the Nobel Peace Prize for having written the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and I told them this:
“Today, where there is no respect for human rights and freedom, there is no peace either. Every day, young people fall on the battlefields. Every day, prisoners are taken to prison and torture chambers. They fight and suffer for the ideals of the Declaration of Human Rights. Peace, everyone must seize it every day”.
Today, I rise from my grave to tell you this:
No, my family is not ok when babies are killed and burned in their mother’s arms while their fathers protect them with their bodies.
No, my family is not ok when 260 20-year-olds are in plastic bags while dancing in the open to celebrate a peace festival.
No, my family is not ok when entire families have their heads cut off one by one.
No, my family is not ok when terrorists seize causes to justify their crimes.
No, my family is not ok when international and human rights organisations remain silent.
No, my family is not doing well when we deny a country victim of terrorism the right to defend itself.
Who are we to deny the right to anything?
Who are we when we look at what will constitute a crime against humanity tomorrow?
Who are we when our children will ask us, “What did you do then”?
So, what did you do with the inheritance I left you?
Peace, everyone must seize it every day.
My family is not ok because my family is “le genre humain”.
Elected Member of the HRLA UK