Human Rights Day on December 10 remembers the day the General Assembly of the UN adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It is the most translated document around the world and is available in over 500 languages. It has inspired countries and people alike to start treating every person with the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. On Human Rights Day we acknowledge the importance of this document and the importance of human rights.
History of Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is the anniversary of the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The day’s popularity is perhaps best demonstrated by the commemorative stamp that was issued by the United Nations Postal Administration in 1952, which received over 200,000 advanced orders.
The aim of the Declaration of Human Rights is to establish a common standard of living for all people across the planet that everyone is entitled to, and to in turn encourage all UN member states to strive towards the said standard of living for the people in their nation.
Although the rights are seen as more declarative than legally binding, they are commonly acknowledged to have had an impact on how human rights are perceived and to be a force for good.
Nowadays a different theme is selected for Human Rights Day each year. In 2014 the theme was “Every Day is Human Rights Day” and in 2016 it was “Stand up for someone’s rights today.” We should remember our human rights every day, but on December 10 we should remember them just a little bit more and embrace everyone around us as equals.
Human Rights Day timeline
Finland passed the Non-Discrimination Act, a requirement for businesses to promote equality and prevent discrimination of employees.
- December 1948
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted.
- 1941 to 1945
The Holocaust was a truly horrific period in history and caused the death of 11 million people (and many more tormented), whose lives had been deemed ‘Unimportant’ by Hitler, and Nazi Germany.
Slavery was abolished in the United States, following Britain, and France.
Human Rights Day FAQs
Why is Human Rights Day celebrated?
This day was chosen to honor the founding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.
When is Human Rights Day?
What is the theme of Human Rights Day 2020?
The theme has not been decided yet.
How to Observe Human Rights Day
Donate to your favorite Human Rights charity.
Is there a charity championing human rights that really strikes a chord with you? Maybe today is the day to remember them and make a donation.
Attend a human rights event.
There are political conferences, meetings, exhibitions, cultural events, and debates held on this day. Why not attend one and be part of the community?
Show your support for human rights.
Show your support for human rights by posting online or getting involved in online discussions.
5 FACTS ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS
Leading by Example
King Cyrus II of Persia, also known as King Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian Empire, freed slaves, established racial equality, and gave the right to religious choice.
Know your rights
Everyone has a right to leisure and holiday, with pay thanks to Article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Think of the children
There are approximately 250,000 child soldiers in the world today spread across 20 countries. About 40% of these are girls who are often used as sex slaves and taken as "wives" by male fighters.
A Long Battle
The women’s suffrage movement lasted 17 years. To gain the right to vote, women protested (Led by Susan B. Anthony and others), and governments slowly allowed it, from 1894 and 1911, before it became federally regulated in 1902.
A Global Problem
It is estimated that 12 million girls are married in childhood (under the age of 16-18) each year, according to the latest prevalence and population figures collected by UNICEF.
Why Human Rights Day is Important
People deserve to be treated fairly, with dignity, and respect.
We are all born equal and should be treated as such. Every person deserves a set of rights by which they can live their life as they choose, and without being oppressed, suppressed or owned by someone else.
It reminds us how far we have come.
Whilst there is still definitely a long way to go, we should take a moment to acknowledge that progress is being made, and the world is a better and fairer place for more people than it was a few hundred years ago. Let’s acknowledge that and then crack on with the improvements that still need to be made.
It promotes unity
The Declaration of Human Rights was agreed upon by 48 member states when it was first created. That’s 48 countries sharing a common belief that life should be and can be better for everyone.
Human Rights Day dates