Human Rights Day is an international United Nations holiday celebrated on December 10 every year. This day aims at spreading awareness about Human Rights across the world and encouraging people to stand up and fight for their rights, regardless of where they are from.
It also celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.
As is usual with United Nations holidays, there is a different Human Rights Day theme every year. The theme of Human Rights Day 2023 is 'Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future'. 2023 will mark the 75th Human Rights Day.
Human Rights Day History
Officials at the United Nations began drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in January 1947. It was officially adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, in Paris. Since its inception, the UDHR has been translated into 360 languages and counting.
The purpose of the declaration was to have a document outlining a basis for Human Rights for countries all over the world, and it was introduced right after World War II after times of conflict and during a period where colonialism was prevalent around the globe. The UDHR effectively shifted this, changing governments' perspectives, and putting the focus on people, and not on violence.
On December 4, 1950, the United Nations invited all of its member states to join them in observing Human Rights Day on December 10 every year. This was received with enthusiasm, and the popularity of this holiday has only grown over the years.
While the UDHR is not a legislative or binding document, instead offering suggestions on the issues of Human Rights in the political, economic, social, civil, and cultural fields, it is the only document that outlines concrete standards of human rights that all countries can adopt. As such, UN member states all consent to abiding by this document.
The document focuses on global rights and freedoms, such as:
the right to healthcare and education
the right to live
the right to freedom of speech and thought
the importance of equal rights
How to Celebrate Human Rights Day
Participate in events and protests on Human Rights Day to raise awareness about progress since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and emphasize the ongoing challenges in recognizing human rights in some countries.
Educate yourself about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the challenges faced by different communities throughout the world.
If you can, donate money to organizations and institutions working to protect human rights. You can also volunteer there in case you have some spare time.