International Human Rights Day
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International Human Rights Day – 70 Year Anniversary

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This landmark document celebrates its 70th birthday today. The United Nations commemorates this particular date, 10th December, with the International Human Rights Day.

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human rights on December 10th, 1948. This declaration was the first international document to set out the framework for human rights. The resolution references 30 inherent rights that every person has upon birth.

The History of Human Rights

Eleanor Roosevelt

It is particularly important because it specifies that people have rights regardless of race, color, religion, sex, or language. It also eliminates barriers such as opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other statuses.

The declaration is available in 500 languages to provide access for as many people as possible. It provides a basis for governments to draw up human rights protections. But more importantly, it enables us to stand up for our rights and the rights of others.

What are Human Rights Exactly?

We hear about human rights all the time. But what are they? Humans are born with rights. While many are set out in the constitutions of their countries, some are inherent to all human beings such as the rights to life, freedom, and equality. When it comes to human rights, there is no distinction in race, origin, gender, age, etc. Read more about what human rights are in our recently published article.

In 1979, Czech jurist Karel Vasak introduced three different categories of human rights. He based his theory on the three tenets of the French Revolution. These are liberty, equality, and fraternity. Here you can read more about this categorization.

History of Human Rights Day

Here is a short history of human rights as we know them today. But today, we talk about the history of the celebration of the International Human Rights Day. It celebrates the birth date of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations assembly established it in 1950. The celebration has given way to important political events. These have included human rights campaigns around the world at different times.


Most recently, International Human Rights Day bears different themes in different years. In 2015, it celebrated “Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always.“ In 2016, the day was a call to action to “Stand Up for Someone’s Rights Today!” And last year, International Human Rights Day brought people together with the slogan “Let’s Stand Up for Equality, Justice and Human Dignity.”

Why are Human Rights Important?

Human rights are essential for promoting equality and peace in the world. They protect the individual from the government by ensuring the fairness of the law. They also secure socio-economic rights such as nutrition, shelter, and education. Human rights promote equality among people giving everyone the opportunity to thrive. Internationally, some instruments, documents, and treaties work to protect and promote human rights. Click here to see some of the main ones.

Unfortunately, we continue to see human rights violations. This is also particularly true in times of conflict or under repressive regimes. That’s why International Human Rights Day is the perfect opportunity to reinforce the strength of human rights. It should not be a privilege of the few to exercise their basic human rights.


Today, take a stance to protect and promote human rights. These are relevant to all of us, not just a select group of people. Humanity is the basic principle of humanitarianism. That’s why ensuring the protection of every person’s human rights is essential.

International Human Rights Day

There are many ways you can #StandUp4HumanRights today! Participate in one of the many events happening around the world. Or tune into the events that are taking place at the United Nations headquarters and other entities. You can also share your thoughts, ideas, and promote human rights on social media!

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Want to know more about human rights? Here you can take a closer look at the different aspects of human rights, their characteristics, history, and more.