“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…”
– Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The origin of the Day
December 10th is the Human Rights Day, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This declaration is a milestone document in the history of Human Rights, as it sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Since its approval, it has inspired and paved the way for the adoption of more than seventy human rights treaties, applied today on a permanent basis at global and regional levels.
Why is it important to celebrate Human Rights Day?
Human Rights Day is an international observance that celebrates the fundamental rights and freedoms enjoyed by all people around the world. It is essential to recognize the importance of protecting and promoting Human Rights, as it ensures that every person is treated equally and with respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other difference. Human Rights Day serves to remind us that despite the many challenges faced globally, everyone has a right to live in peace and security.
We can honor the spirit of Human Rights Day by taking action to educate and promote Human Rights. This could involve collaborating with organizations that focus on Human Rights, participating in public events and campaigns, or supporting projects and legislation that further promote and protect the rights of all people.
What can we do?
2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, so there will be a year-long campaign to promote and recognise this. The year-long campaign seeks to shift the needle of understanding and action towards greater knowledge of the universality of the UDHR and the activism associated with it. We can take a number of actions to engage with and promote Human Rights Day in the community.
Here are the three components that will be include at this campaign coordinated by the United Nations:
- Educate: to increase awareness and global knowledge of the UDHR and its enduring relevance for our times and for the future, showing how the Declaration has guided the work of the UN and many countries around the globe.
- Promote: countering the increasing skepticism of and rollbacks against Human Rights, establishing that these are never relative and must always be upheld as what unites all humanity.
- Empower: we must offer concrete knowledge and tools to help people better fight for their rights.