Mr. Speaker, I recently returned from the annual Oslo Freedom Forum, described as the Davos of human rights, an inspired and inspiring gathering of pioneers and leaders, from former presidents to grassroots activists, who are involved in advocacy, policy, media, business and technology. They came together to bring humanitarian causes to the forefront of the global agenda; to shine a spotlight on repressed societies that warrant exposure; and to to enlarge, enhance and empower the international struggle for freedom. This year the forum engaged in a series of compelling and interactive exchanges on the Arab uprising, one year later; lessons learned from case studies of emblematic political prisoners; slavery in the shadows; and the impact of new technologies and paradigms in the protection of human rights.
We are witness to a growing criminalization of dissent, to systematic and systemic assaults on human rights and to a quarantining of human rights that is too often ignored, marginalized or sanitized.
Oslo took us out of the shadows of repression into the sunshine and the struggle for freedom, reminding us all of our individual and collective responsibilities for the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad, and particularly in the shadows of repression.