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The BoF Podcast: The UN’s Kate Gilmore: ‘In Times of Such Uncertainty, the Question Is: Who Are You?’

The deputy high commissioner for human rights at the UN Human Rights Office reflects on the nature of human dignity and discrimination in turbulent times.
Kate Gilmore speaks on stage during #BoFVOICES | Source: Getty Images for The Business of Fashion

OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — At the time of its drafting in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — a document asserting the rights and freedoms of all people — was co-signed by fewer than 50 countries. Today, 70 years later, the document is affirmed by 193 countries. Yet, the rights it upholds face challenges like financial inequality and misinformation in the age of fake news.

In a powerful presentation at BoF's VOICES that ended with a standing ovation, Kate Gilmore, the deputy high commissioner of human rights at the UN, reflected on the nature of human dignity and discrimination in the eyes of global law over the last 70 years. Referring to the document as an “operating manual” that is both insufficient and essential, Gilmore asks: “How are [human rights] to be carried forward in a world that seeks in many ways to undo the 1948 global consensus?”

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