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Human Rights Day

Written by Grace Huang

On December 10th, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Declaration proclaims fundamental human rights and freedoms that everyone is entitled to. To celebrate that, we acknowledge the importance of this document and history of human rights on Human Rights Day – December 10th of each year.

When the document was adopted, it was declared to be a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations. It spelled out basic rights for everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, language, disability, national or ethnic origin, property, birth or other status.

Since the adoption of the UDHR, human rights have become more recognized worldwide, inspiring over 60 human rights instruments which make up an international standard for human rights. Furthermore, the UDHR has served as a foundation for an expanding system of human rights protection, also including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and migrants.

Each year, a theme is chosen for Human Rights Day. This year, the theme of Human Rights Day is Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.

With the upcoming 75th anniversary of the UDHR next year in 2023, the United Nations is starting a year-long campaign beginning today to showcase the UDHR, focusing on its legacy, relevance, and activism.

Ways to Observe Human Rights Day

There are many ways you may choose to celebrate Human Rights Day, but here are some suggestions for how you can celebrate!

  • Spread the word. A great way is to lead by example and educate others – your friends, your family, and your community – about human rights. Pass the word on Human Rights Day by sharing human rights articles, creating and displaying Human Rights Day posters, or posting on social media using #StandUp4HumanRights and #HumanRightsDay! Find more resources here.

  • Attend a human rights event. Events such as exhibitions, cultural events, and Write for Rights events often take place on Human Rights Day. Join one, or even organize your own, and celebrate with your community!

  • Donate to a human rights charity. If you are able, donating to a charity you trust can help charities work towards promoting human rights in local communities around the world.


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