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, 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”.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out a broad range of fundamental rights and freedoms to which all of us are entitled. It guarantees the rights of every individual everywhere, without distinction based on nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, or any other status.
Although the Declaration 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 the Office of the High Commissioner, plays a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.
Latest and past observances of Human Rights Day
2020 – Recover Better
2019 – Youth Standing Up for Human Rights
2018 – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70
2017 – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70
2016 – Stand up for someone’s rights today
2015 – Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.
2014 – #Rights365
2013 – 20 Years Working for Your Rights
2012 – My Voice counts
2011 – Celebrate human rights!
2010 – Speak up, Stop Discrimination
2009 – Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination
2007-2008 – 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
2006 – Fighting Poverty: A Matter of Obligation, Not Charity
2005 – Torture and the Global Efforts to Combat it
2004 – Human Rights Education