This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365,encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.
Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.
The date was chosen to honour the United Nations— General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations. The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organizations.
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, (United States) holding a Declaration of Human Rights © UN Photo
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, towards which individuals and societies should “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”. Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.
“Today, poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is. By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime… Poverty eradication is an achievable goal.”
The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights occurred on 10 December 2008, and the UN Secretary-General launched a year-long campaign leading up to this anniversary. Because the UDHR holds the world record as the most translated document (except for the Bible), organizations around the globe used the year to focus on helping people everywhere learn about their rights.
Wednesday, December 10 Human Rights Day 2014
December 10 is the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations (UN) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR sets out a certain set of rights that are the basic and minimum set of human rights for all citizens.
Setting aside a day to commemorate, educate and reflect on the principles that form the UDHR means celebrating the rights we exercise everyday as Australians, and acknowledging that enjoying those rights carries with it the responsibility of promoting these rights for all people.
Things that many of us take for granted – such as the right to an education, the right to receive medical care, and the freedom to practice our chosen religion – are not equally available to all Australians and people in other parts of the world.
Many individuals and communities will be commemorating and celebrating December 10, and pledging a commitment to maintain and improve people’s human rights wherever possible.
Activities / resources downloads
Activities / resources
- Resource sheet: Where did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come from?
- Activity sheet: Where did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come from?
- Activity sheet: What does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognise?
- Activity sheet: How have international human rights developed?
- Activity sheet: Human rights scenarios
- Resource sheet: How can you commemorate human rights day in your school?
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: 2011 Egyptian revolution, Arab world, Clip art, Human rights, International Covenant on Economic, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations, United Nations General Assembly, United States, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, World War II | 10 Comments »